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Title: The Book of the Damned

Author: Charles Fort

Release Date: August 31, 2007 [EBook #22472]

Language: English


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A procession of the damned.

By the damned, I mean the excluded.

We shall have a procession of data that Science has excluded.

Battalions of the accursed, captained by pallid data that I have
exhumed, will march. You'll read them--or they'll march. Some of them
livid and some of them fiery and some of them rotten.

Some of them are corpses, skeletons, mummies, twitching, tottering,
animated by companions that have been damned alive. There are giants
that will walk by, though sound asleep. There are things that are
theorems and things that are rags: they'll go by like Euclid arm in arm
with the spirit of anarchy. Here and there will flit little harlots.
Many are clowns. But many are of the highest respectability. Some are
assassins. There are pale stenches and gaunt superstitions and mere
shadows and lively malices: whims and amiabilities. The naïve and the
pedantic and the bizarre and the grotesque and the sincere and the
insincere, the profound and the puerile.

A stab and a laugh and the patiently folded hands of hopeless propriety.

The ultra-respectable, but the condemned, anyway.

The aggregate appearance is of dignity and dissoluteness: the aggregate
voice is a defiant prayer: but the spirit of the whole is processional.

The power that has said to all these things that they are damned, is
Dogmatic Science.

But they'll march.

The little harlots will caper, and freaks will distract attention, and
the clowns will break the rhythm of the whole with their
buffooneries--but the solidity of the procession as a whole: the
impressiveness of things that pass and pass and pass, and keep on and
keep on and keep on coming.

The irresistibleness of things that neither threaten nor jeer nor defy,
but arrange themselves in mass-formations that pass and pass and keep on

       *       *       *       *       *

So, by the damned, I mean the excluded.

But by the excluded I mean that which will some day be the excluding.

Or everything that is, won't be.

And everything that isn't, will be--

But, of course, will be that which won't be--

It is our expression that the flux between that which isn't and that
which won't be, or the state that is commonly and absurdly called
"existence," is a rhythm of heavens and hells: that the damned won't
stay damned; that salvation only precedes perdition. The inference is
that some day our accursed tatterdemalions will be sleek angels. Then
the sub-inference is that some later day, back they'll go whence they

       *       *       *       *       *

It is our expression that nothing can attempt to be, except by
attempting to exclude something else: that that which is commonly called
"being" is a state that is wrought more or less definitely
proportionately to the appearance of positive difference between that
which is included and that which is excluded.

But it is our expression that there are no positive differences: that
all things are like a mouse and a bug in the heart of a cheese. Mouse
and a bug: no two things could seem more unlike. They're there a week,
or they stay there a month: both are then only transmutations of cheese.
I think we're all bugs and mice, and are only different expressions of
an all-inclusive cheese.

Or that red is not positively different from yellow: is only another
degree of whatever vibrancy yellow is a degree of: that red and yellow
are continuous, or that they merge in orange.

So then that, if, upon the basis of yellowness and redness, Science
should attempt to classify all phenomena, including all red things as
veritable, and excluding all yellow things as false or illusory, the
demarcation would have to be false and arbitrary, because things colored
orange, constituting continuity, would belong on both sides of the
attempted borderline.

As we go along, we shall be impressed with this:

That no basis for classification, or inclusion and exclusion, more
reasonable than that of redness and yellowness has ever been conceived

Science has, by appeal to various bases, included a multitude of data.
Had it not done so, there would be nothing with which to seem to be.
Science has, by appeal to various bases, excluded a multitude of data.
Then, if redness is continuous with yellowness: if every basis of
admission is continuous with every basis of exclusion, Science must have
excluded some things that are continuous with the accepted. In redness
and yellowness, which merge in orangeness, we typify all tests, all
standards, all means of forming an opinion--

Or that any positive opinion upon any subject is illusion built upon the
fallacy that there are positive differences to judge by--

That the quest of all intellection has been for something--a fact, a
basis, a generalization, law, formula, a major premise that is positive:
that the best that has ever been done has been to say that some things
are self-evident--whereas, by evidence we mean the support of something

That this is the quest; but that it has never been attained; but that
Science has acted, ruled, pronounced, and condemned as if it had been

What is a house?

It is not possible to say what anything is, as positively distinguished
from anything else, if there are no positive differences.

A barn is a house, if one lives in it. If residence constitutes
houseness, because style of architecture does not, then a bird's nest is
a house: and human occupancy is not the standard to judge by, because we
speak of dogs' houses; nor material, because we speak of snow houses of
Eskimos--or a shell is a house to a hermit crab--or was to the mollusk
that made it--or things seemingly so positively different as the White
House at Washington and a shell on the seashore are seen to be

So no one has ever been able to say what electricity is, for instance.
It isn't anything, as positively distinguished from heat or magnetism or
life. Metaphysicians and theologians and biologists have tried to define
life. They have failed, because, in a positive sense, there is nothing
to define: there is no phenomenon of life that is not, to some degree,
manifest in chemism, magnetism, astronomic motions.

White coral islands in a dark blue sea.

Their seeming of distinctness: the seeming of individuality, or of
positive difference one from another--but all are only projections from
the same sea bottom. The difference between sea and land is not
positive. In all water there is some earth: in all earth there is some

So then that all seeming things are not things at all, if all are
inter-continuous, any more than is the leg of a table a thing in itself,
if it is only a projection from something else: that not one of us is a
real person, if, physically, we're continuous with environment; if,
psychically, there is nothing to us but expression of relation to

Our general expression has two aspects:

Conventional monism, or that all "things" that seem to have identity of
their own are only islands that are projections from something
underlying, and have no real outlines of their own.

But that all "things," though only projections, are projections that are
striving to break away from the underlying that denies them identity of
their own.

I conceive of one inter-continuous nexus, in which and of which all
seeming things are only different expressions, but in which all things
are localizations of one attempt to break away and become real things,
or to establish entity or positive difference or final demarcation or
unmodified independence--or personality or soul, as it is called in
human phenomena--

That anything that tries to establish itself as a real, or positive, or
absolute system, government, organization, self, soul, entity,
individuality, can so attempt only by drawing a line about itself, or
about the inclusions that constitute itself, and damning or excluding,
or breaking away from, all other "things":

That, if it does not so act, it cannot seem to be;

That, if it does so act, it falsely and arbitrarily and futilely and
disastrously acts, just as would one who draws a circle in the sea,
including a few waves, saying that the other waves, with which the
included are continuous, are positively different, and stakes his life
upon maintaining that the admitted and the damned are positively

Our expression is that our whole existence is animation of the local by
an ideal that is realizable only in the universal:

That, if all exclusions are false, because always are included and
excluded continuous: that if all seeming of existence perceptible to us
is the product of exclusion, there is nothing that is perceptible to us
that really is: that only the universal can really be.

Our especial interest is in modern science as a manifestation of this
one ideal or purpose or process:

That it has falsely excluded, because there are no positive standards to
judge by: that it has excluded things that, by its own pseudo-standards,
have as much right to come in as have the chosen.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our general expression:

That the state that is commonly and absurdly called "existence," is a
flow, or a current, or an attempt, from negativeness to positiveness,
and is intermediate to both.

By positiveness we mean:

Harmony, equilibrium, order, regularity, stability, consistency, unity,
realness, system, government, organization, liberty, independence, soul,
self, personality, entity, individuality, truth, beauty, justice,
perfection, definiteness--

That all that is called development, progress, or evolution is movement
toward, or attempt toward, this state for which, or for aspects of
which, there are so many names, all of which are summed up in the one
word "positiveness."

At first this summing up may not be very readily acceptable. At first it
may seem that all these words are not synonyms: that "harmony" may mean
"order," but that by "independence," for instance, we do not mean
"truth," or that by "stability" we do not mean "beauty," or "system," or

I conceive of one inter-continuous nexus, which expresses itself in
astronomic phenomena, and chemic, biologic, psychic, sociologic: that it
is everywhere striving to localize positiveness: that to this attempt in
various fields of phenomena--which are only quasi-different--we give
different names. We speak of the "system" of the planets, and not of
their "government": but in considering a store, for instance, and its
management, we see that the words are interchangeable. It used to be
customary to speak of chemic equilibrium, but not of social equilibrium:
that false demarcation has been broken down. We shall see that by all
these words we mean the same state. As every-day conveniences, or in
terms of common illusions, of course, they are not synonyms. To a child
an earth worm is not an animal. It is to the biologist.

By "beauty," I mean that which seems complete.

Obversely, that the incomplete, or the mutilated, is the ugly.

Venus de Milo.

To a child she is ugly.

When a mind adjusts to thinking of her as a completeness, even though,
by physiologic standards, incomplete, she is beautiful.

A hand thought of only as a hand, may seem beautiful.

Found on a battlefield--obviously a part--not beautiful.

But everything in our experience is only a part of something else that
in turn is only a part of still something else--or that there is nothing
beautiful in our experience: only appearances that are intermediate to
beauty and ugliness--that only universality is complete: that only the
complete is the beautiful: that every attempt to achieve beauty is an
attempt to give to the local the attribute of the universal.

By stability, we mean the immovable and the unaffected. But all seeming
things are only reactions to something else. Stability, too, then, can
be only the universal, or that besides which there is nothing else.
Though some things seem to have--or have--higher approximations to
stability than have others, there are, in our experience, only various
degrees of intermediateness to stability and instability. Every man,
then, who works for stability under its various names of "permanency,"
"survival," "duration," is striving to localize in something the state
that is realizable only in the universal.

By independence, entity, and individuality, I can mean only that
besides which there is nothing else, if given only two things, they must
be continuous and mutually affective, if everything is only a reaction
to something else, and any two things would be destructive of each
other's independence, entity, or individuality.

All attempted organizations and systems and consistencies, some
approximating far higher than others, but all only intermediate to Order
and Disorder, fail eventually because of their relations with outside
forces. All are attempted completenesses. If to all local phenomena
there are always outside forces, these attempts, too, are realizable
only in the state of completeness, or that to which there are no outside

Or that all these words are synonyms, all meaning the state that we call
the positive state--

That our whole "existence" is a striving for the positive state.

The amazing paradox of it all:

That all things are trying to become the universal by excluding other

That there is only this one process, and that it does animate all
expressions, in all fields of phenomena, of that which we think of as
one inter-continuous nexus:

The religious and their idea or ideal of the soul. They mean distinct,
stable entity, or a state that is independent, and not a mere flux of
vibrations or complex of reactions to environment, continuous with
environment, merging away with an infinitude of other interdependent

But the only thing that would not merge away into something else would
be that besides which there is nothing else.

That Truth is only another name for the positive state, or that the
quest for Truth is the attempt to achieve positiveness:

Scientists who have thought that they were seeking Truth, but who were
trying to find out astronomic, or chemic, or biologic truths. But Truth
is that besides which there is nothing: nothing to modify it, nothing to
question it, nothing to form an exception: the all-inclusive, the

By Truth I mean the Universal.

So chemists have sought the true, or the real, and have always failed in
their endeavors, because of the outside relations of chemical
phenomena: have failed in the sense that never has a chemical law,
without exceptions, been discovered: because chemistry is continuous
with astronomy, physics, biology--For instance, if the sun should
greatly change its distance from this earth, and if human life could
survive, the familiar chemic formulas would no longer work out: a new
science of chemistry would have to be learned--

Or that all attempts to find Truth in the special are attempts to find
the universal in the local.

And artists and their striving for positiveness, under the name of
"harmony"--but their pigments that are oxydizing, or are responding to a
deranging environment--or the strings of musical instruments that are
differently and disturbingly adjusting to outside chemic and thermal and
gravitational forces--again and again this oneness of all ideals, and
that it is the attempt to be, or to achieve, locally, that which is
realizable only universally. In our experience there is only
intermediateness to harmony and discord. Harmony is that besides which
there are no outside forces.

And nations that have fought with only one motive: for individuality, or
entity, or to be real, final nations, not subordinate to, or parts of,
other nations. And that nothing but intermediateness has ever been
attained, and that history is record of failures of this one attempt,
because there always have been outside forces, or other nations
contending for the same goal.

As to physical things, chemic, mineralogic, astronomic, it is not
customary to say that they act to achieve Truth or Entity, but it is
understood that all motions are toward Equilibrium: that there is no
motion except toward Equilibrium, of course always away from some other
approximation to Equilibrium.

All biologic phenomena act to adjust: there are no biologic actions
other than adjustments.

Adjustment is another name for Equilibrium. Equilibrium is the
Universal, or that which has nothing external to derange it.

But that all that we call "being" is motion: and that all motion is the
expression, not of equilibrium, but of equilibrating, or of equilibrium
unattained: that life-motions are expressions of equilibrium unattained:
that all thought relates to the unattained: that to have what is called
being in our quasi-state, is not to be in the positive sense, or is to
be intermediate to Equilibrium and Inequilibrium.

So then:

That all phenomena in our intermediate state, or quasi-state, represent
this one attempt to organize, stabilize, harmonize, individualize--or to
positivize, or to become real:

That only to have seeming is to express failure or intermediateness to
final failure and final success:

That every attempt--that is observable--is defeated by Continuity, or by
outside forces--or by the excluded that are continuous with the

That our whole "existence" is an attempt by the relative to be the
absolute, or by the local to be the universal.

In this book, my interest is in this attempt as manifested in modern

That it has attempted to be real, true, final, complete, absolute:

That, if the seeming of being, here, in our quasi-state, is the product
of exclusion that is always false and arbitrary, if always are included
and excluded continuous, the whole seeming system, or entity, of modern
science is only quasi-system, or quasi-entity, wrought by the same false
and arbitrary process as that by which the still less positive system
that preceded it, or the theological system, wrought the illusion of its

In this book, I assemble some of the data that I think are of the
falsely and arbitrarily excluded.

The data of the damned.

I have gone into the outer darkness of scientific and philosophical
transactions and proceedings, ultra-respectable, but covered with the
dust of disregard. I have descended into journalism. I have come back
with the quasi-souls of lost data.

They will march.

       *       *       *       *       *

As to the logic of our expressions to come--

That there is only quasi-logic in our mode of seeming:

That nothing ever has been proved--

Because there is nothing to prove.

When I say that there is nothing to prove, I mean that to those who
accept Continuity, or the merging away of all phenomena into other
phenomena, without positive demarcations one from another, there is, in
a positive sense, no one thing. There is nothing to prove.

For instance nothing can be proved to be an animal--because animalness
and vegetableness are not positively different. There are some
expressions of life that are as much vegetable as animal, or that
represent the merging of animalness and vegetableness. There is then no
positive test, standard, criterion, means of forming an opinion. As
distinct from vegetables, animals do not exist. There is nothing to
prove. Nothing could be proved to be good, for instance. There is
nothing in our "existence" that is good, in a positive sense, or as
really outlined from evil. If to forgive be good in times of peace, it
is evil in wartime. There is nothing to prove: good in our experience is
continuous with, or is only another aspect of evil.

As to what I'm trying to do now--I accept only. If I can't see
universally, I only localize.

So, of course then, that nothing ever has been proved:

That theological pronouncements are as much open to doubt as ever they
were, but that, by a hypnotizing process, they became dominant over the
majority of minds in their era:

That, in a succeeding era, the laws, dogmas, formulas, principles, of
materialistic science never were proved, because they are only
localizations simulating the universal; but that the leading minds of
their era of dominance were hypnotized into more or less firmly
believing them.

Newton's three laws, and that they are attempts to achieve positiveness,
or to defy and break Continuity, and are as unreal as are all other
attempts to localize the universal:

That, if every observable body is continuous, mediately or immediately,
with all other bodies, it cannot be influenced only by its own inertia,
so that there is no way of knowing what the phenomena of inertia may be;
that, if all things are reacting to an infinitude of forces, there is no
way of knowing what the effects of only one impressed force would be;
that if every reaction is continuous with its action, it cannot be
conceived of as a whole, and that there is no way of conceiving what it
might be equal and opposite to--

Or that Newton's three laws are three articles of faith:

Or that demons and angels and inertias and reactions are all
mythological characters:

But that, in their eras of dominance, they were almost as firmly
believed in as if they had been proved.

       *       *       *       *       *

Enormities and preposterousnesses will march.

They will be "proved" as well as Moses or Darwin or Lyell ever "proved"

       *       *       *       *       *

We substitute acceptance for belief.

Cells of an embryo take on different appearances in different eras.

The more firmly established, the more difficult to change.

That social organism is embryonic.

That firmly to believe is to impede development.

That only temporarily to accept is to facilitate.

       *       *       *       *       *


Except that we substitute acceptance for belief, our methods will be the
conventional methods; the means by which every belief has been
formulated and supported: or our methods will be the methods of
theologians and savages and scientists and children. Because, if all
phenomena are continuous, there can be no positively different methods.
By the inconclusive means and methods of cardinals and fortune tellers
and evolutionists and peasants, methods which must be inconclusive, if
they relate always to the local, and if there is nothing local to
conclude, we shall write this book.

If it function as an expression of its era, it will prevail.

       *       *       *       *       *

All sciences begin with attempts to define.

Nothing ever has been defined.

Because there is nothing to define.

Darwin wrote _The Origin of Species_.

He was never able to tell what he meant by a "species."

It is not possible to define.

Nothing has ever been finally found out.

Because there is nothing final to find out.

It's like looking for a needle that no one ever lost in a haystack that
never was--

But that all scientific attempts really to find out something, whereas
really there is nothing to find out, are attempts, themselves, really to
be something.

A seeker of Truth. He will never find it. But the dimmest of
possibilities--he may himself become Truth.

Or that science is more than an inquiry:

That it is a pseudo-construction, or a quasi-organization: that it is an
attempt to break away and locally establish harmony, stability,
equilibrium, consistency, entity--

Dimmest of possibilities--that it may succeed.

       *       *       *       *       *

That ours is a pseudo-existence, and that all appearances in it partake
of its essential fictitiousness--

But that some appearances approximate far more highly to the positive
state than do others.

We conceive of all "things" as occupying gradations, or steps in series
between positiveness and negativeness, or realness and unrealness: that
some seeming things are more nearly consistent, just, beautiful,
unified, individual, harmonious, stable--than others.

We are not realists. We are not idealists. We are intermediatists--that
nothing is real, but that nothing is unreal: that all phenomena are
approximations one way or the other between realness and unrealness.

So then:

That our whole quasi-existence is an intermediate stage between
positiveness and negativeness or realness and unrealness.

Like purgatory, I think.

But in our summing up, which was very sketchily done, we omitted to make
clear that Realness is an aspect of the positive state.

By Realness, I mean that which does not merge away into something else,
and that which is not partly something else: that which is not a
reaction to, or an imitation of, something else. By a real hero, we mean
one who is not partly a coward, or whose actions and motives do not
merge away into cowardice. But, if in Continuity, all things do merge,
by Realness, I mean the Universal, besides which there is nothing with
which to merge.

That, though the local might be universalized, it is not conceivable
that the universal can be localized: but that high approximations there
may be, and that these approximate successes may be translated out of
Intermediateness into Realness--quite as, in a relative sense, the
industrial world recruits itself by translating out of unrealness, or
out of the seemingly less real imaginings of inventors, machines which
seem, when set up in factories, to have more of Realness than they had
when only imagined.

That all progress, if all progress is toward stability, organization,
harmony, consistency, or positiveness, is the attempt to become real.

So, then, in general metaphysical terms, our expression is that, like a
purgatory, all that is commonly called "existence," which we call
Intermediateness, is quasi-existence, neither real nor unreal, but
expression of attempt to become real, or to generate for or recruit a
real existence.

Our acceptance is that Science, though usually thought of so
specifically, or in its own local terms, usually supposed to be a prying
into old bones, bugs, unsavory messes, is an expression of this one
spirit animating all Intermediateness: that, if Science could absolutely
exclude all data but its own present data, or that which is assimilable
with the present quasi-organization, it would be a real system, with
positively definite outlines--it would be real.

Its seeming approximation to consistency, stability,
system--positiveness or realness--is sustained by damning the
irreconcilable or the unassimilable--

All would be well.

All would be heavenly--

If the damned would only stay damned.


In the autumn of 1883, and for years afterward, occurred
brilliant-colored sunsets, such as had never been seen before within the
memory of all observers. Also there were blue moons.

I think that one is likely to smile incredulously at the notion of blue
moons. Nevertheless they were as common as were green suns in 1883.

Science had to account for these unconventionalities. Such publications
as _Nature_ and _Knowledge_ were besieged with inquiries.

I suppose, in Alaska and in the South Sea Islands, all the medicine men
were similarly upon trial.

Something had to be thought of.

Upon the 28th of August, 1883, the volcano of Krakatoa, of the Straits
of Sunda, had blown up.


We're told that the sound was heard 2,000 miles, and that 36,380 persons
were killed. Seems just a little unscientific, or impositive, to me:
marvel to me we're not told 2,163 miles and 36,387 persons. The volume
of smoke that went up must have been visible to other planets--or,
tormented with our crawlings and scurryings, the earth complained to
Mars; swore a vast black oath at us.

In all text-books that mention this occurrence--no exception so far so I
have read--it is said that the extraordinary atmospheric effects of 1883
were first noticed in the last of August or the first of September.

That makes a difficulty for us.

It is said that these phenomena were caused by particles of volcanic
dust that were cast high in the air by Krakatoa.

This is the explanation that was agreed upon in 1883--

But for seven years the atmospheric phenomena continued--

Except that, in the seven, there was a lapse of several years--and where
was the volcanic dust all that time?

You'd think that such a question as that would make trouble?

Then you haven't studied hypnosis. You have never tried to demonstrate
to a hypnotic that a table is not a hippopotamus. According to our
general acceptance, it would be impossible to demonstrate such a thing.
Point out a hundred reasons for saying that a hippopotamus is not a
table: you'll have to end up agreeing that neither is a table a
table--it only seems to be a table. Well, that's what the hippopotamus
seems to be. So how can you prove that something is not something else,
when neither is something else some other thing? There's nothing to

This is one of the profundities that we advertised in advance.

You can oppose an absurdity only with some other absurdity. But Science
is established preposterousness. We divide all intellection: the
obviously preposterousness and the established.

But Krakatoa: that's the explanation that the scientists gave. I don't
know what whopper the medicine men told.

We see, from the start, the very strong inclination of science to deny,
as much as it can, external relations of this earth.

This book is an assemblage of data of external relations of this earth.
We take the position that our data have been damned, upon no
consideration for individual merits or demerits, but in conformity with
a general attempt to hold out for isolation of this earth. This is
attempted positiveness. We take the position that science can no more
succeed than, in a similar endeavor, could the Chinese, or than could
the United States. So then, with only pseudo-consideration of the
phenomena of 1883, or as an expression of positivism in its aspect of
isolation, or unrelatedness, scientists have perpetrated such an
enormity as suspension of volcanic dust seven years in the
air--disregarding the lapse of several years--rather than to admit the
arrival of dust from somewhere beyond this earth. Not that scientists
themselves have ever achieved positiveness, in its aspect of unitedness,
among themselves--because Nordenskiold, before 1883, wrote a great deal
upon his theory of cosmic dust, and Prof. Cleveland Abbe contended
against the Krakatoan explanation--but that this is the orthodoxy of the
main body of scientists.

My own chief reason for indignation here:

That this preposterous explanation interferes with some of my own

It would cost me too much explaining, if I should have to admit that
this earth's atmosphere has such sustaining power.

Later, we shall have data of things that have gone up in the air and
that have stayed up--somewhere--weeks--months--but not by the sustaining
power of this earth's atmosphere. For instance, the turtle of Vicksburg.
It seems to me that it would be ridiculous to think of a good-sized
turtle hanging, for three or four months, upheld only by the air, over
the town of Vicksburg. When it comes to the horse and the barn--I think
that they'll be classics some day, but I can never accept that a horse
and a barn could float several months in this earth's atmosphere.

The orthodox explanation:

See the _Report of the Krakatoa Committee of the Royal Society_. It
comes out absolutely for the orthodox explanation--absolutely and
beautifully, also expensively. There are 492 pages in the "Report," and
40 plates, some of them marvelously colored. It was issued after an
investigation that took five years. You couldn't think of anything done
more efficiently, artistically, authoritatively. The mathematical parts
are especially impressive: distribution of the dust of Krakatoa;
velocity of translation and rates of subsidence; altitudes and

_Annual Register_, 1883-105:

That the atmospheric effects that have been attributed to Krakatoa were
seen in Trinidad before the eruption occurred:

_Knowledge_, 5-418:

That they were seen in Natal, South Africa, six months before the

       *       *       *       *       *

Inertia and its inhospitality.

Or raw meat should not be fed to babies.

We shall have a few data initiatorily.

I fear me that the horse and the barn were a little extreme for our
budding liberalities.

The outrageous is the reasonable, if introduced politely.

Hailstones, for instance. One reads in the newspapers of hailstones the
size of hens' eggs. One smiles. Nevertheless I will engage to list one
hundred instances, from the _Monthly Weather Review_, of hailstones the
size of hens' eggs. There is an account in _Nature_, Nov. 1, 1894, of
hailstones that weighed almost two pounds each. See Chambers'
Encyclopedia for three-pounders. _Report of the Smithsonian
Institution_, 1870-479--two-pounders authenticated, and six-pounders
reported. At Seringapatam, India, about the year 1800, fell a

I fear me, I fear me: this is one of the profoundly damned. I blurt out
something that should, perhaps, be withheld for several hundred
pages--but that damned thing was the size of an elephant.

We laugh.

Or snowflakes. Size of saucers. Said to have fallen at Nashville, Tenn.,
Jan. 24, 1891. One smiles.

"In Montana, in the winter of 1887, fell snowflakes 15 inches across,
and 8 inches thick." (_Monthly Weather Review_, 1915-73.)

In the topography of intellection, I should say that what we call
knowledge is ignorance surrounded by laughter.

       *       *       *       *       *

Black rains--red rains--the fall of a thousand tons of butter.

Jet-black snow--pink snow--blue hailstones--hailstones flavored like

Punk and silk and charcoal.

       *       *       *       *       *

About one hundred years ago, if anyone was so credulous as to think that
stones had ever fallen from the sky, he was reasoned with:

In the first place there are no stones in the sky:

Therefore no stones can fall from the sky.

Or nothing more reasonable or scientific or logical than that could be
said upon any subject. The only trouble is the universal trouble: that
the major premise is not real, or is intermediate somewhere between
realness and unrealness.

In 1772, a committee, of whom Lavoisier was a member, was appointed by
the French Academy, to investigate a report that a stone had fallen from
the sky at Luce, France. Of all attempts at positiveness, in its aspect
of isolation, I don't know of anything that has been fought harder for
than the notion of this earth's unrelatedness. Lavoisier analyzed the
stone of Luce. The exclusionists' explanation at that time was that
stones do not fall from the sky: that luminous objects may seem to fall,
and that hot stones may be picked up where a luminous object seemingly
had landed--only lightning striking a stone, heating, even melting it.

The stone of Luce showed signs of fusion.

Lavoisier's analysis "absolutely proved" that this stone had not fallen:
that it had been struck by lightning.

So, authoritatively, falling stones were damned. The stock means of
exclusion remained the explanation of lightning that was seen to strike
something--that had been upon the ground in the first place.

But positiveness and the fate of every positive statement. It is not
customary to think of damned stones raising an outcry against a sentence
of exclusion, but, subjectively, aerolites did--or data of them
bombarded the walls raised against them--

_Monthly Review_, 1796-426

"The phenomenon which is the subject of the remarks before us will seem
to most persons as little worthy of credit as any that could be offered.
The falling of large stones from the sky, without any assignable cause
of their previous ascent, seems to partake so much of the marvelous as
almost entirely to exclude the operation of known and natural agents.
Yet a body of evidence is here brought to prove that such events have
actually taken place, and we ought not to withhold from it a proper
degree of attention."

The writer abandons the first, or absolute, exclusion, and modifies it
with the explanation that the day before a reported fall of stones in
Tuscany, June 16, 1794, there had been an eruption of Vesuvius--

Or that stones do fall from the sky, but that they are stones that have
been raised to the sky from some other part of the earth's surface by
whirlwinds or by volcanic action.

It's more than one hundred and twenty years later. I know of no aerolite
that has ever been acceptably traced to terrestrial origin.

Falling stones had to be undamned--though still with a reservation that
held out for exclusion of outside forces.

One may have the knowledge of a Lavoisier, and still not be able to
analyze, not be able even to see, except conformably with the hypnoses,
or the conventional reactions against hypnoses, of one's era.

We believe no more.

We accept.

Little by little the whirlwind and volcano explanations had to be
abandoned, but so powerful was this exclusion-hypnosis, sentence of
damnation, or this attempt at positiveness, that far into our own times
some scientists, notably Prof. Lawrence Smith and Sir Robert Ball,
continued to hold out against all external origins, asserting that
nothing could fall to this earth, unless it had been cast up or whirled
up from some other part of this earth's surface.

It's as commendable as anything ever has been--by which I mean it's
intermediate to the commendable and the censurable.

It's virginal.

Meteorites, data of which were once of the damned, have been admitted,
but the common impression of them is only a retreat of attempted
exclusion: that only two kinds of substance fall from the sky: metallic
and stony: that the metallic objects are of iron and nickel--

Butter and paper and wool and silk and resin.

We see, to start with, that the virgins of science have fought and wept
and screamed against external relations--upon two grounds:

There in the first place;

Or up from one part of this earth's surface and down to another.

As late as November, 1902, in _Nature Notes_, 13-231, a member of the
Selborne Society still argued that meteorites do not fall from the sky;
that they are masses of iron upon the ground "in the first place," that
attract lightning; that the lightning is seen, and is mistaken for a
falling, luminous object--

By progress we mean rape.

Butter and beef and blood and a stone with strange inscriptions upon


So then, it is our expression that Science relates to real knowledge no
more than does the growth of a plant, or the organization of a
department store, or the development of a nation: that all are
assimilative, or organizing, or systematizing processes that represent
different attempts to attain the positive state--the state commonly
called heaven, I suppose I mean.

There can be no real science where there are indeterminate variables,
but every variable is, in finer terms, indeterminate, or irregular, if
only to have the appearance of being in Intermediateness is to express
regularity unattained. The invariable, or the real and stable, would be
nothing at all in Intermediateness--rather as, but in relative terms, an
undistorted interpretation of external sounds in the mind of a dreamer
could not continue to exist in a dreaming mind, because that touch of
relative realness would be of awakening and not of dreaming. Science is
the attempt to awaken to realness, wherein it is attempt to find
regularity and uniformity. Or the regular and uniform would be that
which has nothing external to disturb it. By the universal we mean the
real. Or the notion is that the underlying super-attempt, as expressed
in Science, is indifferent to the subject-matter of Science: that the
attempt to regularize is the vital spirit. Bugs and stars and chemical
messes: that they are only quasi-real, and that of them there is nothing
real to know; but that systematization of pseudo-data is approximation
to realness or final awakening--

Or a dreaming mind--and its centaurs and canary birds that turn into
giraffes--there could be no real biology upon such subjects, but
attempt, in a dreaming mind, to systematize such appearances would be
movement toward awakening--if better mental co-ordination is all that we
mean by the state of being awake--relatively awake.

So it is, that having attempted to systematize, by ignoring externality
to the greatest possible degree, the notion of things dropping in upon
this earth, from externality, is as unsettling and as unwelcome to
Science as--tin horns blowing in upon a musician's relatively symmetric
composition--flies alighting upon a painter's attempted harmony, and
tracking colors one into another--suffragist getting up and making a
political speech at a prayer meeting.

If all things are of a oneness, which is a state intermediate to
unrealness and realness, and if nothing has succeeded in breaking away
and establishing entity for itself, and could not continue to "exist" in
intermediateness, if it should succeed, any more than could the born
still at the same time be the uterine, I of course know of no positive
difference between Science and Christian Science--and the attitude of
both toward the unwelcome is the same--"it does not exist."

A Lord Kelvin and a Mrs. Eddy, and something not to their liking--it
does not exist.

Of course not, we Intermediates say: but, also, that, in
Intermediateness, neither is there absolute non-existence.

Or a Christian Scientist and a toothache--neither exists in the final
sense: also neither is absolutely non-existent, and, according to our
therapeutics, the one that more highly approximates to realness will

A secret of power--

I think it's another profundity.

Do you want power over something?

Be more nearly real than it.

We'll begin with yellow substances that have fallen upon this earth:
we'll see whether our data of them have a higher approximation to
realness than have the dogmas of those who deny their existence--that
is, as products from somewhere external to this earth.

In mere impressionism we take our stand. We have no positive tests nor
standards. Realism in art: realism in science--they pass away. In 1859,
the thing to do was to accept Darwinism; now many biologists are
revolting and trying to conceive of something else. The thing to do was
to accept it in its day, but Darwinism of course was never proved:

The fittest survive.

What is meant by the fittest?

Not the strongest; not the cleverest--

Weakness and stupidity everywhere survive.

There is no way of determining fitness except in that a thing does

"Fitness," then, is only another name for "survival."


That survivors survive.

Although Darwinism, then, seems positively baseless, or absolutely
irrational, its massing of supposed data, and its attempted coherence
approximate more highly to Organization and Consistency than did the
inchoate speculations that preceded it.

Or that Columbus never proved that the earth is round.

Shadow of the earth on the moon?

No one has ever seen it in its entirety. The earth's shadow is much
larger than the moon. If the periphery of the shadow is curved--but the
convex moon--a straight-edged object will cast a curved shadow upon a
surface that is convex.

All the other so-called proofs may be taken up in the same way. It was
impossible for Columbus to prove that the earth is round. It was not
required: only that with a higher seeming of positiveness than that of
his opponents, he should attempt. The thing to do, in 1492, was
nevertheless to accept that beyond Europe, to the west, were other

I offer for acceptance, as something concordant with the spirit of this
first quarter of the 20th century, the expression that beyond this earth
are--other lands--from which come things as, from America, float things
to Europe.

As to yellow substances that have fallen upon this earth, the endeavor
to exclude extra-mundane origins is the dogma that all yellow rains and
yellow snows are colored with pollen from this earth's pine trees.
_Symons' Meteorological Magazine_ is especially prudish in this respect
and regards as highly improper all advances made by other explainers.

Nevertheless, the _Monthly Weather Review_, May, 1877, reports a
golden-yellow fall, of Feb. 27, 1877, at Peckloh, Germany, in which four
kinds of organisms, not pollen, were the coloring matter. There were
minute things shaped like arrows, coffee beans, horns, and disks.

They may have been symbols. They may have been objective hieroglyphics--

Mere passing fancy--let it go--

In the _Annales de Chimie_, 85-288, there is a list of rains said to
have contained sulphur. I have thirty or forty other notes. I'll not use
one of them. I'll admit that every one of them is upon a fall of pollen.
I said, to begin with, that our methods would be the methods of
theologians and scientists, and they always begin with an appearance of
liberality. I grant thirty or forty points to start with. I'm as liberal
as any of them--or that my liberality won't cost me anything--the
enormousness of the data that we shall have.

Or just to look over a typical instance of this dogma, and the way it
works out:

In the _American Journal of Science_, 1-42-196, we are told of a yellow
substance that fell by the bucketful upon a vessel, one "windless" night
in June, in Pictou Harbor, Nova Scotia. The writer analyzed the
substance, and it was found to "give off nitrogen and ammonia and an
animal odor."

Now, one of our Intermediatist principles, to start with, is that so far
from positive, in the aspect of Homogeneousness, are all substances,
that, at least in what is called an elementary sense, anything can be
found anywhere. Mahogany logs on the coast of Greenland; bugs of a
valley on the top of Mt. Blanc; atheists at a prayer meeting; ice in
India. For instance, chemical analysis can reveal that almost any dead
man was poisoned with arsenic, we'll say, because there is no stomach
without some iron, lead, tin, gold, arsenic in it and of it--which, of
course, in a broader sense, doesn't matter much, because a certain
number of persons must, as a restraining influence, be executed for
murder every year; and, if detectives aren't able really to detect
anything, illusion of their success is all that is necessary, and it is
very honorable to give up one's life for society as a whole.

The chemist who analyzed the substance of Pictou sent a sample to the
Editor of the _Journal_. The Editor of course found pollen in it.

My own acceptance is that there'd have to be some pollen in it: that
nothing could very well fall through the air, in June, near the pine
forests of Nova Scotia, and escape all floating spores of pollen. But
the Editor does not say that this substance "contained" pollen. He
disregards "nitrogen, ammonia, and an animal odor," and says that the
substance was pollen. For the sake of our thirty or forty tokens of
liberality, or pseudo-liberality, if we can't be really liberal, we
grant that the chemist of the first examination probably wouldn't know
an animal odor if he were janitor of a menagerie. As we go along,
however, there can be no such sweeping ignoring of this phenomenon:

The fall of animal-matter from the sky.

I'd suggest, to start with, that we'd put ourselves in the place of
deep-sea fishes:

How would they account for the fall of animal-matter from above?

They wouldn't try--

Or it's easy enough to think of most of us as deep-sea fishes of a kind.

_Jour. Franklin Inst._, 90-11:

That, upon the 14th of February, 1870, there fell, at Genoa, Italy,
according to Director Boccardo, of the Technical Institute of Genoa, and
Prof. Castellani, a yellow substance. But the microscope revealed
numerous globules of cobalt blue, also corpuscles of a pearly color that
resembled starch. See _Nature_, 2-166.

_Comptes Rendus_, 56-972:

M. Bouis says of a substance, reddish varying to yellowish, that fell
enormously and successively, or upon April 30, May 1 and May 2, in
France and Spain, that it carbonized and spread the odor of charred
animal matter--that it was not pollen--that in alcohol it left a residue
of resinous matter.

Hundreds of thousands of tons of this matter must have fallen.

"Odor of charred animal matter."

Or an aerial battle that occurred in inter-planetary space several
hundred years ago--effect of time in making diverse remains uniform in

It's all very absurd because, even though we are told of a prodigious
quantity of animal matter that fell from the sky--three days--France and
Spain--we're not ready yet: that's all. M. Bouis says that this
substance was not pollen; the vastness of the fall makes acceptable that
it was not pollen; still, the resinous residue does suggest pollen of
pine trees. We shall hear a great deal of a substance with a resinous
residue that has fallen from the sky: finally we shall divorce it from
all suggestion of pollen.

_Blackwood's Magazine_, 3-338:

A yellow powder that fell at Gerace, Calabria, March 14, 1813. Some of
this substance was collected by Sig. Simenini, Professor of Chemistry,
at Naples. It had an earthy, insipid taste, and is described as
"unctuous." When heated, this matter turned brown, then black, then red.
According to the _Annals of Philosophy_, 11-466, one of the components
was a greenish-yellow substance, which, when dried, was found to be

But concomitants of this fall:

Loud noises were heard in the sky.

Stones fell from the sky.

According to Chladni, these concomitants occurred, and to me they
seem--rather brutal?--or not associable with something so soft and
gentle as a fall of pollen?

       *       *       *       *       *

Black rains and black snows--rains as black as a deluge of
ink--jet-black snowflakes.

Such a rain as that which fell in Ireland, May 14, 1849, described in
the _Annals of Scientific Discovery_, 1850, and the _Annual Register_,
1849. It fell upon a district of 400 square miles, and was the color of
ink, and of a fetid odor and very disagreeable taste.

The rain at Castlecommon, Ireland, April 30, 1887--"thick, black rain."
(_Amer. Met. Jour._, 4-193.)

A black rain fell in Ireland, Oct. 8 and 9, 1907. (_Symons' Met. Mag._
43-2.) "It left a most peculiar and disagreeable smell in the air."

The orthodox explanation of this rain occurs in _Nature_, March 2,
1908--cloud of soot that had come from South Wales, crossing the Irish
Channel and all of Ireland.

So the black rain of Ireland, of March, 1898: ascribed in _Symons' Met.
Mag._ 33-40, to clouds of soot from the manufacturing towns of North
England and South Scotland.

Our Intermediatist principle of pseudo-logic, or our principle of
Continuity is, of course, that nothing is unique, or individual: that
all phenomena merge away into all other phenomena: that, for
instance--suppose there should be vast celestial super-oceanic, or
inter-planetary vessels that come near this earth and discharge volumes
of smoke at times. We're only supposing such a thing as that now,
because, conventionally, we are beginning modestly and tentatively. But
if it were so, there would necessarily be some phenomenon upon this
earth, with which that phenomenon would merge. Extra-mundane smoke and
smoke from cities merge, or both would manifest in black precipitations
in rain.

In Continuity, it is impossible to distinguish phenomena at their
merging-points, so we look for them at their extremes. Impossible to
distinguish between animal and vegetable in some infusoria--but
hippopotamus and violet. For all practical purposes they're
distinguishable enough. No one but a Barnum or a Bailey would send one a
bunch of hippopotami as a token of regard.

So away from the great manufacturing centers:

Black rain in Switzerland, Jan. 20, 1911. Switzerland is so remote, and
so ill at ease is the conventional explanation here, that _Nature_,
85-451, says of this rain that in certain conditions of weather, snow
may take on an appearance of blackness that is quite deceptive.

May be so. Or at night, if dark enough, snow may look black. This is
simply denying that a black rain fell in Switzerland, Jan. 20, 1911.

Extreme remoteness from great manufacturing centers:

_La Nature_, 1888, 2-406:

That Aug. 14, 1888, there fell at the Cape of Good Hope, a rain so black
as to be described as a "shower of ink."

Continuity dogs us. Continuity rules us and pulls us back. We seemed to
have a little hope that by the method of extremes we could get away from
things that merge indistinguishably into other things. We find that
every departure from one merger is entrance upon another. At the Cape of
Good Hope, vast volumes of smoke from great manufacturing centers, as an
explanation, cannot very acceptably merge with the explanation of
extra-mundane origin--but smoke from a terrestrial volcano can, and that
is the suggestion that is made in _La Nature_.

There is, in human intellection, no real standard to judge by, but our
acceptance, for the present, is that the more nearly positive will
prevail. By the more nearly positive we mean the more nearly Organized.
Everything merges away into everything else, but proportionately to its
complexity, if unified, a thing seems strong, real, and distinct: so, in
aesthetics, it is recognized that diversity in unity is higher beauty,
or approximation to Beauty, than is simpler unity; so the logicians feel
that agreement of diverse data constitute greater convincingness, or
strength, than that of mere parallel instances: so to Herbert Spencer
the more highly differentiated and integrated is the more fully evolved.
Our opponents hold out for mundane origin of all black rains. Our method
will be the presenting of diverse phenomena in agreement with the notion
of some other origin. We take up not only black rains but black rains
and their accompanying phenomena.

A correspondent to _Knowledge_, 5-190, writes of a black rain that fell
in the Clyde Valley, March 1, 1884: of another black rain that fell two
days later. According to the correspondent, a black rain had fallen in
the Clyde Valley, March 20, 1828: then again March 22, 1828. According
to _Nature_, 9-43, a black rain fell at Marlsford, England, Sept. 4,
1873; more than twenty-four hours later another black rain fell in the
same small town.

The black rains of Slains:

According to Rev. James Rust (_Scottish Showers_):

A black rain at Slains, Jan. 14, 1862--another at Carluke, 140 miles
from Slains, May 1, 1862--at Slains, May 20, 1862--Slains, Oct. 28,

But after two of these showers, vast quantities of a substance described
sometimes as "pumice stone," but sometimes as "slag," were washed upon
the sea coast near Slains. A chemist's opinion is given that this
substance was slag: that it was not a volcanic product: slag from
smelting works. We now have, for black rains, a concomitant that is
irreconcilable with origin from factory chimneys. Whatever it may have
been the quantity of this substance was so enormous that, in Mr. Rust's
opinion, to have produced so much of it would have required the united
output of all the smelting works in the world. If slag it were, we
accept that an artificial product has, in enormous quantities, fallen
from the sky. If you don't think that such occurrences are damned by
Science, read _Scottish Showers_ and see how impossible it was for the
author to have this matter taken up by the scientific world.

The first and second rains corresponded, in time, with ordinary
ebullitions of Vesuvius.

The third and fourth, according to Mr. Rust, corresponded with no known
volcanic activities upon this earth.

_La Science Pour Tous_, 11-26:

That, between October, 1863, and January, 1866, four more black rains
fell at Slains, Scotland.

The writer of this supplementary account tells us, with a better, or
more unscrupulous, orthodoxy than Mr. Rust's, that of the eight black
rains, five coincided with eruptions of Vesuvius and three with
eruptions of Etna.

The fate of all explanation is to close one door only to have another
fly wide open. I should say that my own notions upon this subject will
be considered irrational, but at least my gregariousness is satisfied in
associating here with the preposterous--or this writer, and those who
think in his rut, have to say that they can think of four discharges
from one far-distant volcano, passing over a great part of Europe,
precipitating nowhere else, discharging precisely over one small
northern parish--

But also of three other discharges, from another far-distant volcano,
showing the same precise preference, if not marksmanship, for one small
parish in Scotland.

Nor would orthodoxy be any better off in thinking of exploding
meteorites and their débris: preciseness and recurrence would be just as
difficult to explain.

My own notion is of an island near an oceanic trade-route: it might
receive débris from passing vessels seven times in four years.

Other concomitants of black rains:

In Timb's _Year Book_, 1851-270, there is an account of "a sort of
rumbling, as of wagons, heard for upward of an hour without ceasing,"
July 16, 1850, Bulwick Rectory, Northampton, England. On the 19th, a
black rain fell.

In _Nature_, 30-6, a correspondent writes of an intense darkness at
Preston, England, April 26, 1884: page 32, another correspondent writes
of black rain at Crowle, near Worcester, April 26: that a week later, or
May 3, it had fallen again: another account of black rain, upon the 28th
of April, near Church Shetton, so intense that the following day brooks
were still dyed with it. According to four accounts by correspondents to
_Nature_ there were earthquakes in England at this time.

Or the black rain of Canada, Nov. 9, 1819. This time it is orthodoxy to
attribute the black precipitate to smoke of forest fires south of the
Ohio River--

Zurcher, _Meteors_, p. 238:

That this black rain was accompanied by "shocks like those of an

_Edinburgh Philosophical Journal_, 2-381:

That the earthquake had occurred at the climax of intense darkness and
the fall of black rain.

       *       *       *       *       *

Red rains.


Sand blown by the sirocco, from the Sahara to Europe.

Especially in the earthquake regions of Europe, there have been many
falls of red substance, usually, but not always, precipitated in rain.
Upon many occasions, these substances have been "absolutely identified"
as sand from the Sahara. When I first took this matter up, I came
across assurance after assurance, so positive to this effect, that, had
I not been an Intermediatist, I'd have looked no further. Samples
collected from a rain at Genoa--samples of sand forwarded from the
Sahara--"absolute agreement" some writers said: same color, same
particles of quartz, even the same shells of diatoms mixed in. Then the
chemical analyses: not a disagreement worth mentioning.

Our intermediatist means of expression will be that, with proper
exclusions, after the scientific or theological method, anything can be
identified with anything else, if all things are only different
expressions of an underlying oneness.

To many minds there's rest and there's satisfaction in that expression
"absolutely identified." Absoluteness, or the illusion of it--the
universal quest. If chemists have identified substances that have fallen
in Europe as sand from African deserts, swept up in African whirlwinds,
that's assuasive to all the irritations that occur to those cloistered
minds that must repose in the concept of a snug, isolated, little world,
free from contact with cosmic wickednesses, safe from stellar guile,
undisturbed by inter-planetary prowlings and invasions. The only trouble
is that a chemist's analysis, which seems so final and authoritative to
some minds, is no more nearly absolute than is identification by a child
or description by an imbecile--

I take some of that back: I accept that the approximation is higher--

But that it's based upon delusion, because there is no definiteness, no
homogeneity, no stability, only different stages somewhere between them
and indefiniteness, heterogeneity, and instability. There are no
chemical elements. It seems acceptable that Ramsay and others have
settled that. The chemical elements are only another disappointment in
the quest for the positive, as the definite, the homogeneous, and the
stable. If there were real elements, there could be a real science of

Upon Nov. 12 and 13, 1902, occurred the greatest fall of matter in the
history of Australia. Upon the 14th of November, it "rained mud," in
Tasmania. It was of course attributed to Australian whirlwinds, but,
according to the _Monthly Weather Review_, 32-365, there was a haze all
the way to the Philippines, also as far as Hong Kong. It may be that
this phenomenon had no especial relation with the even more tremendous
fall of matter that occurred in Europe, February, 1903.

For several days, the south of England was a dumping ground--from

If you'd like to have a chemist's opinion, even though it's only a
chemist's opinion, see the report of the meeting of the Royal Chemical
Society, April 2, 1903. Mr. E.G. Clayton read a paper upon some of the
substance that had fallen from the sky, collected by him. The Sahara
explanation applies mostly to falls that occur in southern Europe.
Farther away, the conventionalists are a little uneasy: for instance,
the editor of the _Monthly Weather Review_, 29-121, says of a red rain
that fell near the coast of Newfoundland, early in 1890: "It would be
very remarkable if this was Sahara dust." Mr. Clayton said that the
matter examined by him was "merely wind-borne dust from the roads and
lanes of Wessex." This opinion is typical of all scientific opinion--or
theological opinion--or feminine opinion--all very well except for what
it disregards. The most charitable thing I can think of--because I think
it gives us a broader tone to relieve our malices with occasional
charities--is that Mr. Clayton had not heard of the astonishing extent
of this fall--had covered the Canary Islands, on the 19th, for instance.
I think, myself, that in 1903, we passed through the remains of a
powdered world--left over from an ancient inter-planetary dispute,
brooding in space like a red resentment ever since. Or, like every other
opinion, the notion of dust from Wessex turns into a provincial thing
when we look it over.

To think is to conceive incompletely, because all thought relates only
to the local. We metaphysicians, of course, like to have the notion that
we think of the unthinkable.

As to opinions, or pronouncements, I should say, because they always
have such an authoritative air, of other chemists, there is an analysis
in _Nature_, 68-54, giving water and organic matter at 9.08 per cent.
It's that carrying out of fractions that's so convincing. The substance
is identified as sand from the Sahara.

The vastness of this fall. In _Nature_, 68-65, we are told that it had
occurred in Ireland, too. The Sahara, of course--because, prior to
February 19, there had been dust storms in the Sahara--disregarding that
in that great region there's always, in some part of it, a dust storm.
However, just at present, it does look reasonable that dust had come
from Africa, via the Canaries.

The great difficulty that authoritativeness has to contend with is some
other authoritativeness. When an infallibility clashes with a

They explain.

_Nature_, March 5, 1903:

Another analysis--36 per cent organic matter.

Such disagreements don't look very well, so, in _Nature_, 68-109, one of
the differing chemists explains. He says that his analysis was of muddy
rain, and the other was of sediment of rain--

We're quite ready to accept excuses from the most high, though I do
wonder whether we're quite so damned as we were, if we find ourselves in
a gracious and tolerant mood toward the powers that condemn--but the tax
that now comes upon our good manners and unwillingness to be too

_Nature_, 68-223:

Another chemist. He says it was 23.49 per cent water and organic matter.

He "identifies" this matter as sand from an African desert--but after
deducting organic matter--

But you and I could be "identified" as sand from an African desert,
after deducting all there is to us except sand--

Why we cannot accept that this fall was of sand from the Sahara,
omitting the obvious objection that in most parts the Sahara is not red
at all, but is usually described as "dazzling white"--

The enormousness of it: that a whirlwind might have carried it, but
that, in that case it would be no supposititious, or doubtfully
identified whirlwind, but the greatest atmospheric cataclysm in the
history of this earth:

_Jour. Roy. Met. Soc._, 30-56:

That, up to the 27th of February, this fall had continued in Belgium,
Holland, Germany and Austria; that in some instances it was not sand, or
that almost all the matter was organic: that a vessel had reported the
fall as occurring in the Atlantic Ocean, midway between Southampton and
the Barbados. The calculation is given that, in England alone,
10,000,000 tons of matter had fallen. It had fallen in Switzerland
(_Symons' Met. Mag._, March, 1903). It had fallen in Russia (_Bull. Com.
Geolog._, 22-48). Not only had a vast quantity of matter fallen several
months before, in Australia, but it was at this time falling in
Australia (_Victorian Naturalist_, June, 1903)--enormously--red
mud--fifty tons per square mile.

The Wessex explanation--

Or that every explanation is a Wessex explanation: by that I mean an
attempt to interpret the enormous in terms of the minute--but that
nothing can be finally explained, because by Truth we mean the
Universal; and that even if we could think as wide as Universality, that
would not be requital to the cosmic quest--which is not for Truth, but
for the local that is true--not to universalize the local, but to
localize the universal--or to give to a cosmic cloud absolute
interpretation in terms of the little dusty roads and lanes of Wessex. I
cannot conceive that this can be done: I think of high approximation.

Our Intermediatist concept is that, because of the continuity of all
"things," which are not separate, positive, or real things, all
pseudo-things partake of the underlying, or are only different
expressions, degrees, or aspects of the underlying: so then that a
sample from somewhere in anything must correspond with a sample from
somewhere in anything else.

That, by due care in selection, and disregard for everything else, or
the scientific and theological method, the substance that fell,
February, 1903, could be identified with anything, or with some part or
aspect of anything that could be conceived of--

With sand from the Sahara, sand from a barrel of sugar, or dust of your

Different samples are described and listed in the _Journal of the Royal
Meteorological Society_, 30-57--or we'll see whether my notion that a
chemist could have identified some one of these samples as from anywhere
conceivable, is extreme or not:

"Similar to brick dust," in one place; "buff or light brown," in
another place; "chocolate-colored and silky to the touch and slightly
iridescent"; "gray"; "red-rust color"; "reddish raindrops and gray
sand"; "dirty gray"; "quite red"; "yellow-brown, with a tinge of pink";
"deep yellow-clay color."

In _Nature_, it is described as of a peculiar yellowish cast in one
place, reddish somewhere else, and salmon-colored in another place.

Or there could be real science if there were really anything to be
scientific about.

Or the science of chemistry is like a science of sociology, prejudiced
in advance, because only to see is to see with a prejudice, setting out
to "prove" that all inhabitants of New York came from Africa.

Very easy matter. Samples from one part of town. Disregard for all the

There is no science but Wessex-science.

According to our acceptance, there should be no other, but that
approximation should be higher: that metaphysics is super-evil: that the
scientific spirit is of the cosmic quest.

Our notion is that, in a real existence, such a quasi-system of fables
as the science of chemistry could not deceive for a moment: but that in
an "existence" endeavoring to become real, it represents that endeavor,
and will continue to impose its pseudo-positiveness until it be driven
out by a higher approximation to realness:

That the science of chemistry is as impositive as fortune-telling--

Or no--

That, though it represents a higher approximation to realness than does
alchemy, for instance, and so drove out alchemy, it is still only
somewhere between myth and positiveness.

The attempt at realness, or to state a real and unmodified fact here, is
the statement:

All red rains are colored by sands from the Sahara Desert.

My own impositivist acceptances are:

That some red rains are colored by sands from the Sahara Desert;

Some by sands from other terrestrial sources;

Some by sands from other worlds, or from their deserts--also from
aerial regions too indefinite or amorphous to be thought of as "worlds"
or planets--

That no supposititious whirlwind can account for the hundreds of
millions of tons of matter that fell upon Australia, Pacific Ocean and
Atlantic Ocean and Europe in 1902 and 1903--that a whirlwind that could
do that would not be supposititious.

But now we shall cast off some of our own wessicality by accepting that
there have been falls of red substance other than sand.

We regard every science as an expression of the attempt to be real. But
to be real is to localize the universal--or to make some one thing as
wide as all things--successful accomplishment of which I cannot conceive
of. The prime resistance to this endeavor is the refusal of the rest of
the universe to be damned, excluded, disregarded, to receive Christian
Science treatment, by something else so attempting. Although all
phenomena are striving for the Absolute--or have surrendered to and have
incorporated themselves in higher attempts, simply to be phenomenal, or
to have seeming in Intermediateness is to express relations.

A river.

It is water expressing the gravitational relation of different levels.

The water of the river.

Expression of chemic relations of hydrogen and oxygen--which are not

A city.

Manifestation of commercial and social relations.

How could a mountain be without base in a greater body?

Storekeeper live without customers?

The prime resistance to the positivist attempt by Science is its
relations with other phenomena, or that it only expresses those
relations in the first place. Or that a Science can have seeming, or
survive in Intermediateness, as something pure, isolated, positively
different, no more than could a river or a city or a mountain or a

This Intermediateness-wide attempt by parts to be wholes--which cannot
be realized in our quasi-state, if we accept that in it the
co-existence of two or more wholes or universals is impossible--high
approximation to which, however, may be thinkable--

Scientists and their dream of "pure science."

Artists and their dream of "art for art's sake."

It is our notion that if they could almost realize, that would be almost
realness: that they would instantly be translated into real existence.
Such thinkers are good positivists, but they are evil in an economic and
sociologic sense, if, in that sense, nothing has justification for
being, unless it serve, or function for, or express the relations of,
some higher aggregate. So Science functions for and serves society at
large, and would, from society at large, receive no support, unless it
did so divert itself or dissipate and prostitute itself. It seems that
by prostitution I mean usefulness.

There have been red rains that, in the middle ages, were called "rains
of blood." Such rains terrified many persons, and were so unsettling to
large populations, that Science, in its sociologic relations, has
sought, by Mrs. Eddy's method, to remove an evil--

That "rains of blood" do not exist;

That rains so called are only of water colored by sand from the Sahara

My own acceptance is that such assurances, whether fictitious or not,
whether the Sahara is a "dazzling white" desert or not, have wrought
such good effects, in a sociologic sense, even though prostitutional in
the positivist sense, that, in the sociologic sense, they were well

But that we've gone on: that this is the twentieth century; that most of
us have grown up so that such soporifics of the past are no longer

That if gushes of blood should fall from the sky upon New York City,
business would go on as usual.

We began with rains that we accepted ourselves were, most likely, only
of sand. In my own still immature hereticalness--and by heresy, or
progress, I mean, very largely, a return, though with many
modifications, to the superstitions of the past, I think I feel
considerable aloofness to the idea of rains of blood. Just at present,
it is my conservative, or timid purpose, to express only that there
have been red rains that very strongly suggest blood or finely divided
animal matter--

Débris from inter-planetary disasters.

Aerial battles.

Food-supplies from cargoes of super-vessels, wrecked in inter-planetary

There was a red rain in the Mediterranean region, March 6, 1888. Twelve
days later, it fell again. Whatever this substance may have been, when
burned, the odor of animal matter from it was strong and persistent.
(_L'Astronomie_, 1888-205.)

But--infinite heterogeneity--or débris from many different kinds of
aerial cargoes--there have been red rains that have been colored by
neither sand nor animal matter.

_Annals of Philosophy_, 16-226:

That, Nov. 2, 1819--week before the black rain and earthquake of
Canada--there fell, at Blankenberge, Holland, a red rain. As to sand,
two chemists of Bruges concentrated 144 ounces of the rain to 4
ounces--"no precipitate fell." But the color was so marked that had
there been sand, it would have been deposited, if the substance had been
diluted instead of concentrated. Experiments were made, and various
reagents did cast precipitates, but other than sand. The chemists
concluded that the rain-water contained muriate of cobalt--which is not
very enlightening: that could be said of many substances carried in
vessels upon the Atlantic Ocean. Whatever it may have been, in the
_Annales de Chimie_, 2-12-432, its color is said to have been
red-violet. For various chemic reactions, see _Quar. Jour. Roy. Inst._,
9-202, and _Edin. Phil. Jour._, 2-381.

Something that fell with dust said to have been meteoric, March 9, 10,
11, 1872: described in the _Chemical News_, 25-300, as a "peculiar
substance," consisted of red iron ocher, carbonate of lime, and organic

Orange-red hail, March 14, 1873, in Tuscany. (Notes and Queries 9-5-16.)

Rain of lavender-colored substance, at Oudon, France, Dec. 19, 1903.
(_Bull. Soc. Met. de France_, 1904-124.)

_La Nature_, 1885-2-351:

That, according to Prof. Schwedoff, there fell, in Russia, June 14,
1880, red hailstones, also blue hailstones, also gray hailstones.

_Nature_, 34-123:

A correspondent writes that he had been told by a resident of a small
town in Venezuela, that there, April 17, 1886, had fallen hailstones,
some red, some blue, some whitish: informant said to have been one
unlikely ever to have heard of the Russian phenomenon; described as an
"honest, plain countryman."

_Nature_, July 5, 1877, quotes a Roman correspondent to the London
_Times_ who sent a translation from an Italian newspaper: that a red
rain had fallen in Italy, June 23, 1877, containing "microscopically
small particles of sand."

Or, according to our acceptance, any other story would have been an evil
thing, in the sociologic sense, in Italy, in 1877. But the English
correspondent, from a land where terrifying red rains are uncommon, does
not feel this necessity. He writes: "I am by no means satisfied that the
rain was of sand and water." His observations are that drops of this
rain left stains "such as sandy water could not leave." He notes that
when the water evaporated, no sand was left behind.

_L'Année Scientifique_, 1888-75:

That, Dec. 13, 1887, there fell, in Cochin China, a substance like
blood, somewhat coagulated.

_Annales de Chimie_, 85-266:

That a thick, viscous, red matter fell at Ulm, in 1812.

We now have a datum with a factor that has been foreshadowed; which will
recur and recur and recur throughout this book. It is a factor that
makes for speculation so revolutionary that it will have to be
reinforced many times before we can take it into full acceptance.

_Year Book of Facts_, 1861-273:

Quotation from a letter from Prof. Campini to Prof. Matteucci:

That, upon Dec. 28, 1860, at about 7 A.M., in the northwestern part of
Siena, a reddish rain fell copiously for two hours.

A second red shower fell at 11 o'clock.

Three days later, the red rain fell again.

The next day another red rain fell.

Still more extraordinarily:

Each fall occurred in "exactly the same quarter of town."


It is in the records of the French Academy that, upon March 17, 1669, in
the town of Châtillon-sur-Seine, fell a reddish substance that was
"thick, viscous, and putrid."

_American Journal of Science_, 1-41-404:

Story of a highly unpleasant substance that had fallen from the sky, in
Wilson County, Tennessee. We read that Dr. Troost visited the place and
investigated. Later we're going to investigate some investigations--but
never mind that now. Dr. Troost reported that the substance was clear
blood and portions of flesh scattered upon tobacco fields. He argued
that a whirlwind might have taken an animal up from one place, mauled it
around, and have precipitated its remains somewhere else.

But, in volume 44, page 216, of the _Journal_, there is an apology. The
whole matter is, upon newspaper authority, said to have been a hoax by
Negroes, who had pretended to have seen the shower, for the sake of
practicing upon the credulity of their masters: that they had scattered
the decaying flesh of a dead hog over the tobacco fields.

If we don't accept this datum, at least we see the sociologically
necessary determination to have all falls accredited to earthly
origins--even when they're falls that don't fall.

_Annual Register_, 1821-687:

That, upon the 13th of August, 1819, something had fallen from the sky
at Amherst, Mass. It had been examined and described by Prof. Graves,
formerly lecturer at Dartmouth College. It was an object that had upon
it a nap, similar to that of milled cloth. Upon removing this nap, a
buff-colored, pulpy substance was found. It had an offensive odor, and,
upon exposure to the air, turned to a vivid red. This thing was said to
have fallen with a brilliant light.

Also see the _Edinburgh Philosophical Journal_, 5-295. In the _Annales
de Chimie_, 1821-67, M. Arago accepts the datum, and gives four
instances of similar objects or substances said to have fallen from the
sky, two of which we shall have with our data of gelatinous, or viscous
matter, and two of which I omit, because it seems to me that the dates
given are too far back.

In the _American Journal of Science_, 1-2-335, is Professor Graves'
account, communicated by Professor Dewey:

That, upon the evening of August 13, 1819, a light was seen in
Amherst--a falling object--sound as if of an explosion.

In the home of Prof. Dewey, this light was reflected upon a wall of a
room in which were several members of Prof. Dewey's family.

The next morning, in Prof. Dewey's front yard, in what is said to have
been the only position from which the light that had been seen in the
room, the night before, could have been reflected, was found a substance
"unlike anything before observed by anyone who saw it." It was a
bowl-shaped object, about 8 inches in diameter, and one inch thick.
Bright buff-colored, and having upon it a "fine nap." Upon removing this
covering, a buff-colored, pulpy substance of the consistency of
soft-soap, was found--"of an offensive, suffocating smell."

A few minutes of exposure to the air changed the buff color to "a livid
color resembling venous blood." It absorbed moisture quickly from the
air and liquefied. For some of the chemic reactions, see the _Journal_.

There's another lost quasi-soul of a datum that seems to me to belong

London _Times_, April 19, 1836:

Fall of fish that had occurred in the neighborhood of Allahabad, India.
It is said that the fish were of the chalwa species, about a span in
length and a seer in weight--you know.

They were dead and dry.

Or they had been such a long time out of water that we can't accept that
they had been scooped out of a pond, by a whirlwind--even though they
were so definitely identified as of a known local species--

Or they were not fish at all.

I incline, myself, to the acceptance that they were not fish, but
slender, fish-shaped objects of the same substance as that which fell at
Amherst--it is said that, whatever they were, they could not be eaten:
that "in the pan, they turned to blood."

For details of this story see the _Journal of the Asiatic Society of
Bengal_, 1834-307. May 16 or 17, 1834, is the date given in the

In the _American Journal of Science_, 1-25-362, occurs the inevitable
damnation of the Amherst object:

Prof. Edward Hitchcock went to live in Amherst. He says that years
later, another object, like the one said to have fallen in 1819, had
been found at "nearly the same place." Prof. Hitchcock was invited by
Prof. Graves to examine it. Exactly like the first one. Corresponded in
size and color and consistency. The chemic reactions were the same.

Prof. Hitchcock recognized it in a moment.

It was a gelatinous fungus.

He did not satisfy himself as to just the exact species it belonged to,
but he predicted that similar fungi might spring up within twenty-four

But, before evening, two others sprang up.

Or we've arrived at one of the oldest of the exclusionists'
conventions--or nostoc. We shall have many data of gelatinous substance
said to have fallen from the sky: almost always the exclusionists argue
that it was only nostoc, an Alga, or, in some respects, a fungous
growth. The rival convention is "spawn of frogs or of fishes." These two
conventions have made a strong combination. In instances where testimony
was not convincing that gelatinous matter had been seen to fall, it was
said that the gelatinous substance was nostoc, and had been upon the
ground in the first place: when the testimony was too good that it had
fallen, it was said to be spawn that had been carried from one place to
another in a whirlwind.

Now, I can't say that nostoc is always greenish, any more than I can say
that blackbirds are always black, having seen a white one: we shall
quote a scientist who knew of flesh-colored nostoc, when so to know was
convenient. When we come to reported falls of gelatinous substances, I'd
like it to be noticed how often they are described as whitish or
grayish. In looking up the subject, myself, I have read only of
greenish nostoc. Said to be greenish, in Webster's Dictionary--said to
be "blue-green" in the New International Encyclopedia--"from bright
green to olive-green" (_Science Gossip_, 10-114); "green" (_Science
Gossip_, 7-260); "greenish" (_Notes and Queries_, 1-11-219). It would
seem acceptable that, if many reports of white birds should occur, the
birds are not blackbirds, even though there have been white blackbirds.
Or that, if often reported, grayish or whitish gelatinous substance is
not nostoc, and is not spawn if occurring in times unseasonable for

"The Kentucky Phenomenon."

So it was called, in its day, and now we have an occurrence that
attracted a great deal of attention in its own time. Usually these
things of the accursed have been hushed up or disregarded--suppressed
like the seven black rains of Slains--but, upon March 3, 1876, something
occurred, in Bath County, Kentucky, that brought many newspaper
correspondents to the scene.

The substance that looked like beef that fell from the sky.

Upon March 3, 1876, at Olympian Springs, Bath County, Kentucky, flakes
of a substance that looked like beef fell from the sky--"from a clear
sky." We'd like to emphasize that it was said that nothing but this
falling substance was visible in the sky. It fell in flakes of various
sizes; some two inches square, one, three or four inches square. The
flake-formation is interesting: later we shall think of it as signifying
pressure--somewhere. It was a thick shower, on the ground, on trees, on
fences, but it was narrowly localized: or upon a strip of land about 100
yards long and about 50 yards wide. For the first account, see the
_Scientific American_, 34-197, and the _New York Times_, March 10, 1876.

Then the exclusionists.

Something that looked like beef: one flake of it the size of a square

If we think of how hard the exclusionists have fought to reject the
coming of ordinary-looking dust from this earth's externality, we can
sympathize with them in this sensational instance, perhaps. Newspaper
correspondents wrote broadcast and witnesses were quoted, and this time
there is no mention of a hoax, and, except by one scientist, there is no
denial that the fall did take place.

It seems to me that the exclusionists are still more emphatically
conservators. It is not so much that they are inimical to all data of
externally derived substances that fall upon this earth, as that they
are inimical to all data discordant with a system that does not include
such phenomena--

Or the spirit or hope or ambition of the cosmos, which we call attempted
positivism: not to find out the new; not to add to what is called
knowledge, but to systematize.

_Scientific American Supplement_, 2-426:

That the substance reported from Kentucky had been examined by Leopold

"At last we have a proper explanation of this much talked of

"It has been comparatively easy to identify the substance and to fix its
status. The Kentucky 'wonder' is no more or less than nostoc."

Or that it had not fallen; that it had been upon the ground in the first
place, and had swollen in rain, and, attracting attention by greatly
increased volume, had been supposed by unscientific observers to have
fallen in rain--

What rain, I don't know.

Also it is spoken of as "dried" several times. That's one of the most
important of the details.

But the relief of outraged propriety, expressed in the _Supplement_, is
amusing to some of us, who, I fear, may be a little improper at times.
Very spirit of the Salvation Army, when some third-rate scientist comes
out with an explanation of the vermiform appendix or the os coccygis
that would have been acceptable to Moses. To give completeness to "the
proper explanation," it is said that Mr. Brandeis had identified the
substance as "flesh-colored" nostoc.

Prof. Lawrence Smith, of Kentucky, one of the most resolute of the

_New York Times_, March 12, 1876:

That the substance had been examined and analyzed by Prof. Smith,
according to whom it gave every indication of being the "dried" spawn of
some reptile, "doubtless of the frog"--or up from one place and down in
another. As to "dried," that may refer to condition when Prof. Smith
received it.

In the _Scientific American Supplement_, 2-473, Dr. A. Mead Edwards,
President of the Newark Scientific Association, writes that, when he saw
Mr. Brandeis' communication, his feeling was of conviction that
propriety had been re-established, or that the problem had been solved,
as he expresses it: knowing Mr. Brandeis well, he had called upon that
upholder of respectability, to see the substance that had been
identified as nostoc. But he had also called upon Dr. Hamilton, who had
a specimen, and Dr. Hamilton had declared it to be lung-tissue. Dr.
Edwards writes of the substance that had so completely, or
beautifully--if beauty is completeness--been identified as nostoc--"It
turned out to be lung-tissue also." He wrote to other persons who had
specimens, and identified other specimens as masses of cartilage or
muscular fibers. "As to whence it came, I have no theory." Nevertheless
he endorses the local explanation--and a bizarre thing it is:

A flock of gorged, heavy-weighted buzzards, but far up and invisible in
the clear sky--

They had disgorged.

Prof. Fassig lists the substance, in his "Bibliography," as fish spawn.
McAtee (_Monthly Weather Review_, May, 1918) lists it as a jelly-like
material, supposed to have been the "dried" spawn either of fishes or of
some batrachian.

Or this is why, against the seemingly insuperable odds against all
things new, there can be what is called progress--

That nothing is positive, in the aspects of homogeneity and unity:

If the whole world should seem to combine against you, it is only unreal
combination, or intermediateness to unity and disunity. Every resistance
is itself divided into parts resisting one another. The simplest
strategy seems to be--never bother to fight a thing: set its own parts
fighting one another.

We are merging away from carnal to gelatinous substance, and here there
is an abundance of instances or reports of instances. These data are so
improper they're obscene to the science of today, but we shall see that
science, before it became so rigorous, was not so prudish. Chladni was
not, and Greg was not.

I shall have to accept, myself, that gelatinous substance has often
fallen from the sky--

Or that, far up, or far away, the whole sky is gelatinous?

That meteors tear through and detach fragments?

That fragments are brought down by storms?

That the twinkling of stars is penetration of light through something
that quivers?

I think, myself, that it would be absurd to say that the whole sky is
gelatinous: it seems more acceptable that only certain areas are.

Humboldt (_Cosmos_, 1-119) says that all our data in this respect must
be "classed amongst the mythical fables of mythology." He is very sure,
but just a little redundant.

We shall be opposed by the standard resistances:

There in the first place;

Up from one place, in a whirlwind, and down in another.

We shall not bother to be very convincing one way or another, because of
the over-shadowing of the datum with which we shall end up. It will mean
that something had been in a stationary position for several days over a
small part of a small town in England: this is the revolutionary thing
that we have alluded to before; whether the substance were nostoc, or
spawn, or some kind of a larval nexus, doesn't matter so much. If it
stood in the sky for several days, we rank with Moses as a chronicler of
improprieties--or was that story, or datum, we mean, told by Moses? Then
we shall have so many records of gelatinous substance said to have
fallen with meteorites, that, between the two phenomena, some of us will
have to accept connection--or that there are at least vast gelatinous
areas aloft, and that meteorites tear through, carrying down some of the

_Comptes Rendus_, 3-554:

That, in 1836, M. Vallot, member of the French Academy, placed before
the Academy some fragments of a gelatinous substance, said to have
fallen from the sky, and asked that they be analyzed. There is no
further allusion to this subject.

_Comptes Rendus_, 23-542:

That, in Wilna, Lithuania, April 4, 1846, in a rainstorm, fell nut-sized
masses of a substance that is described as both resinous and
gelatinous. It was odorless until burned: then it spread a very
pronounced sweetish odor. It is described as like gelatine, but much
firmer: but, having been in water 24 hours, it swelled out, and looked
altogether gelatinous--

It was grayish.

We are told that, in 1841 and 1846, a similar substance had fallen in
Asia Minor.

In _Notes and Queries_, 8-6-190, it is said that, early in August, 1894,
thousands of jellyfish, about the size of a shilling, had fallen at
Bath, England. I think it is not acceptable that they were jellyfish:
but it does look as if this time frog spawn did fall from the sky, and
may have been translated by a whirlwind--because, at the same time,
small frogs fell at Wigan, England.

_Nature_, 87-10:

That, June 24, 1911, at Eton, Bucks, England, the ground was found
covered with masses of jelly, the size of peas, after a heavy rainfall.
We are not told of nostoc, this time: it is said that the object
contained numerous eggs of "some species of Chironomus, from which
larvae soon emerged."

I incline, then, to think that the objects that fell at Bath were
neither jellyfish nor masses of frog spawn, but something of a larval

This is what had occurred at Bath, England, 23 years before.

London _Times_, April 24, 1871:

That, upon the 22nd of April, 1871, a storm of glutinous drops neither
jellyfish nor masses of frog spawn, but something of a [line missing
here in original text. Ed.] railroad station, at Bath. "Many soon
developed into a worm-like chrysalis, about an inch in length." The
account of this occurrence in the _Zoologist_, 2-6-2686, is more like
the Eton-datum: of minute forms, said to have been infusoria; not forms
about an inch in length.

_Trans. Ent. Soc. of London_, 1871-proc. xxii:

That the phenomenon has been investigated by the Rev. L. Jenyns, of
Bath. His description is of minute worms in filmy envelopes. He tries to
account for their segregation. The mystery of it is: What could have
brought so many of them together? Many other falls we shall have record
of, and in most of them segregation is the great mystery. A whirlwind
seems anything but a segregative force. Segregation of things that have
fallen from the sky has been avoided as most deep-dyed of the damned.
Mr. Jenyns conceives of a large pool, in which were many of these
spherical masses: of the pool drying up and concentrating all in a small
area; of a whirlwind then scooping all up together--

But several days later, more of these objects fell in the same place.

That such marksmanship is not attributable to whirlwinds seems to me to
be what we think we mean by common sense:

It may not look like common sense to say that these things had been
stationary over the town of Bath, several days--

The seven black rains of Slains;

The four red rains of Siena.

An interesting sidelight on the mechanics of orthodoxy is that Mr.
Jenyns dutifully records the second fall, but ignores it in his

R.P. Greg, one of the most notable of cataloguers of meteoritic
phenomena, records (_Phil. Mag._: 4-8-463) falls of viscid substance in
the years 1652, 1686, 1718, 1796, 1811, 1819, 1844. He gives earlier
dates, but I practice exclusions, myself. In the _Report of the British
Association_, 1860-63, Greg records a meteor that seemed to pass near
the ground, between Barsdorf and Freiburg, Germany: the next day a
jelly-like mass was found in the snow--

Unseasonableness for either spawn or nostoc.

Greg's comment in this instance is: "Curious if true." But he records
without modification the fall of a meteorite at Gotha, Germany, Sept. 6,
1835, "leaving a jelly-like mass on the ground." We are told that this
substance fell only three feet away from an observer. In the _Report of
the British Association_, 1855-94, according to a letter from Greg to
Prof. Baden-Powell, at night, Oct. 8, 1844, near Coblenz, a German, who
was known to Greg, and another person saw a luminous body fall close to
them. They returned next morning and found a gelatinous mass of grayish

According to Chladni's account (_Annals of Philosophy_, n.s., 12-94) a
viscous mass fell with a luminous meteorite between Siena and Rome,
May, 1652; viscous matter found after the fall of a fire ball, in
Lusatia, March, 1796; fall of a gelatinous substance, after the
explosion of a meteorite, near Heidelberg, July, 1811. In the _Edinburgh
Philosophical Journal_, 1-234, the substance that fell at Lusatia is
said to have been of the "color and odor of dried, brown varnish." In
the _Amer. Jour. Sci._, 1-26-133, it is said that gelatinous matter fell
with a globe of fire, upon the island of Lethy, India, 1718.

In the _Amer. Jour. Sci._, 1-26-396, in many observations upon the
meteors of November, 1833, are reports of falls of gelatinous substance:

That, according to newspaper reports, "lumps of jelly" were found on the
ground at Rahway, N.J. The substance was whitish, or resembled the
coagulated white of an egg:

That Mr. H.H. Garland, of Nelson County, Virginia, had found a
jelly-like substance of about the circumference of a twenty-five-cent

That, according to a communication from A.C. Twining to Prof. Olmstead,
a woman at West Point, N.Y., had seen a mass the size of a teacup. It
looked like boiled starch:

That, according to a newspaper, of Newark, N.J., a mass of gelatinous
substance, like soft soap, had been found. "It possessed little
elasticity, and, on the application of heat, it evaporated as readily as

It seems incredible that a scientist would have such hardihood, or
infidelity, as to accept that these things had fallen from the sky:
nevertheless, Prof. Olmstead, who collected these lost souls, says:

"The fact that the supposed deposits were so uniformly described as
gelatinous substance forms a presumption in favor of the supposition
that they had the origin ascribed to them."

In contemporaneous scientific publications considerable attention was
given to Prof. Olmstead's series of papers upon this subject of the
November meteors. You will not find one mention of the part that treats
of gelatinous matter.


I shall attempt not much of correlation of dates. A mathematic-minded
positivist, with his delusion that in an intermediate state twice two
are four, whereas, if we accept Continuity, we cannot accept that there
are anywhere two things to start with, would search our data for
periodicities. It is so obvious to me that the mathematic, or the
regular, is the attribute of the Universal, that I have not much
inclination to look for it in the local. Still, in this solar system,
"as a whole," there is considerable approximation to regularity; or the
mathematic is so nearly localized that eclipses, for instance, can, with
rather high approximation, be foretold, though I have notes that would
deflate a little the astronomers' vainglory in this respect--or would if
that were possible. An astronomer is poorly paid, uncheered by crowds,
considerably isolated: he lives upon his own inflations: deflate a bear
and it couldn't hibernate. This solar system is like every other
phenomenon that can be regarded "as a whole"--or the affairs of a ward
are interfered with by the affairs of the city of which it is a part;
city by county; county by state; state by nation; nation by other
nations; all nations by climatic conditions; climatic conditions by
solar circumstances; sun by general planetary circumstances; solar
system "as a whole" by other solar systems--so the hopelessness of
finding the phenomena of entirety in the ward of a city. But positivists
are those who try to find the unrelated in the ward of a city. In our
acceptance this is the spirit of cosmic religion. Objectively the state
is not realizable in the ward of a city. But, if a positivist could
bring himself to absolute belief that he had found it, that would be a
subjective realization of that which is unrealizable objectively. Of
course we do not draw a positive line between the objective and the
subjective--or that all phenomena called things or persons are
subjective within one all-inclusive nexus, and that thoughts within
those that are commonly called "persons" are sub-subjective. It is
rather as if Intermediateness strove for Regularity in this solar
system and failed: then generated the mentality of astronomers, and, in
that secondary expression, strove for conviction that failure had been

I have tabulated all the data of this book, and a great deal
besides--card system--and several proximities, thus emphasized, have
been revelations to me: nevertheless, it is only the method of
theologians and scientists--worst of all, of statisticians.

For instance, by the statistic method, I could "prove" that a black rain
has fallen "regularly" every seven months, somewhere upon this earth. To
do this, I'd have to include red rains and yellow rains, but,
conventionally, I'd pick out the black particles in red substances and
in yellow substances, and disregard the rest. Then, too, if here and
there a black rain should be a week early or a month late--that would be
"acceleration" or "retardation." This is supposed to be legitimate in
working out the periodicities of comets. If black rains, or red or
yellow rains with black particles in them, should not appear at all near
some dates--we have not read Darwin in vain--"the records are not
complete." As to other, interfering black rains, they'd be either gray
or brown, or for them we'd find other periodicities.

Still, I have had to notice the year 1819, for instance. I shall not
note them all in this book, but I have records of 31 extraordinary
events in 1883. Someone should write a book upon the phenomena of this
one year--that is, if books should be written. 1849 is notable for
extraordinary falls, so far apart that a local explanation seems
inadequate--not only the black rain of Ireland, May, 1849, but a red
rain in Sicily and a red rain in Wales. Also, it is said (Timb's _Year
Book_, 1850-241) that, upon April 18 or 20, 1849, shepherds near Mt.
Ararat, found a substance that was not indigenous, upon areas measuring
8 to 10 miles in circumference. Presumably it had fallen there.

We have already gone into the subject of Science and its attempted
positiveness, and its resistances in that it must have relations of
service. It is very easy to see that most of the theoretic science of
the 19th century was only a relation of reaction against theologic
dogma, and has no more to do with Truth than has a wave that bounds back
from a shore. Or, if a shop girl, or you or I, should pull out a piece
of chewing gum about a yard long, that would be quite as scientific a
performance as was the stretching of this earth's age several hundred
millions of years.

All "things" are not things, but only relations, or expressions of
relations: but all relations are striving to be the unrelated, or have
surrendered to, and subordinated to, higher attempts. So there is a
positivist aspect to this reaction that is itself only a relation, and
that is the attempt to assimilate all phenomena under the materialist
explanation, or to formulate a final, all-inclusive system, upon the
materialist basis. If this attempt could be realized, that would be the
attaining of realness; but this attempt can be made only by disregarding
psychic phenomena, for instance--or, if science shall eventually give in
to the psychic, it would be no more legitimate to explain the immaterial
in terms of the material than to explain the material in terms of the
immaterial. Our own acceptance is that material and immaterial are of a
oneness, merging, for instance, in a thought that is continuous with a
physical action: that oneness cannot be explained, because the process
of explaining is the interpreting of something in terms of something
else. All explanation is assimilation of something in terms of something
else that has been taken as a basis: but, in Continuity, there is
nothing that is any more basic than anything else--unless we think that
delusion built upon delusion is less real than its pseudo-foundation.

In 1829 (Timb's _Year Book_, 1848-235) in Persia fell a substance that
the people said they had never seen before. As to what it was, they had
not a notion, but they saw that the sheep ate it. They ground it into
flour and made bread, said to have been passable enough, though insipid.

That was a chance that science did not neglect. Manna was placed upon a
reasonable basis, or was assimilated and reconciled with the system that
had ousted the older--and less nearly real--system. It was said that,
likely enough, manna had fallen in ancient times--because it was still
falling--but that there was no tutelary influence behind it--that it was
a lichen from the steppes of Asia Minor--from one place in a whirlwind
and down in another place. "In the _American Almanac_, 1833-71, it is
said that this substance--to the inhabitants of the region"--was
"immediately recognized" by scientists who examined it: and that "the
chemical analysis also identified it as a lichen."

This was back in the days when Chemical Analysis was a god. Since then
his devotees have been shocked and disillusioned. Just how a chemical
analysis could so botanize, I don't know--but it was Chemical Analysis
who spoke, and spoke dogmatically. It seems to me that the ignorance of
inhabitants, contrasting with the local knowledge of foreign scientists,
is overdone: if there's anything good to eat, within any distance
conveniently covered by a whirlwind--inhabitants know it. I have data of
other falls, in Persia and Asiatic Turkey, of edible substances. They
are all dogmatically said to be "manna"; and "manna" is dogmatically
said to be a species of lichens from the steppes of Asia Minor. The
position that I take is that this explanation was evolved in ignorance
of the fall of vegetable substances, or edible substances, in other
parts of the world: that it is the familiar attempt to explain the
general in terms of the local; that, if we shall have data of falls of
vegetable substance, in, say, Canada or India, they were not of lichens
from the steppes of Asia Minor; that, though all falls in Asiatic Turkey
and Persia are sweepingly and conveniently called showers of "manna,"
they have not been even all of the same substance. In one instance the
particles are said to have been "seeds." Though, in _Comptes Rendus_,
the substance that fell in 1841 and 1846 is said to have been
gelatinous, in the _Bull. Sci. Nat. de Neuchatel_, it is said to have
been of something, in lumps the size of a filbert, that had been ground
into flour; that of this flour had been made bread, very
attractive-looking, but flavorless.

The great difficulty is to explain segregation in these showers--

But deep-sea fishes and occasional falls, down to them, of edible
substances; bags of grain, barrels of sugar; things that had not been
whirled up from one part of the ocean-bottom, in storms or submarine
disturbances, and dropped somewhere else--

I suppose one thinks--but grain in bags never has fallen--

Object of Amherst--its covering like "milled cloth"--

Or barrels of corn lost from a vessel would not sink--but a host of them
clashing together, after a wreck--they burst open; the corn sinks, or
does when saturated; the barrel staves float longer--

If there be not an overhead traffic in commodities similar to our own
commodities carried over this earth's oceans--I'm not the deep-sea fish
I think I am.

I have no data other than the mere suggestion of the Amherst object of
bags or barrels, but my notion is that bags and barrels from a wreck on
one of this earth's oceans, would, by the time they reached the bottom,
no longer be recognizable as bags or barrels; that, if we can have data
of the fall of fibrous material that may have been cloth or paper or
wood, we shall be satisfactory and grotesque enough.

_Proc. Roy. Irish Acad._, 1-379:

"In the year 1686, some workmen, who had been fetching water from a
pond, seven German miles from Memel, on returning to their work after
dinner (during which there had been a snowstorm) found the flat ground
around the pond covered with a coal-black, leafy mass; and a person who
lived near said he had seen it fall like flakes with the snow."

Some of these flake-like formations were as large as a table-top. "The
mass was damp and smelt disagreeably, like rotten seaweed, but, when
dried, the smell went off."

"It tore fibrously, like paper."

Classic explanation:

"Up from one place, and down in another."

But what went up, from one place, in a whirlwind? Of course, our
Intermediatist acceptance is that had this been the strangest substance
conceivable, from the strangest other world that could be thought of;
somewhere upon this earth there must be a substance similar to it, or
from which it would, at least subjectively, or according to description,
not be easily distinguishable. Or that everything in New York City is
only another degree or aspect of something, or combination of things, in
a village of Central Africa. The novel is a challenge to vulgarization:
write something that looks new to you: someone will point out that the
thrice-accursed Greeks said it long ago. Existence is Appetite: the gnaw
of being; the one attempt of all things to assimilate all other things,
if they have not surrendered and submitted to some higher attempt. It
was cosmic that these scientists, who had surrendered to and submitted
to the Scientific System, should, consistently with the principles of
that system, attempt to assimilate the substance that fell at Memel with
some known terrestrial product. At the meeting of the Royal Irish
Academy it was brought out that there is a substance, of rather rare
occurrence, that has been known to form in thin sheets upon marsh land.

It looks like greenish felt.

The substance of Memel:

Damp, coal-black, leafy mass.

But, if broken up, the marsh-substance is flake-like, and it tears

An elephant can be identified as a sunflower--both have long stems. A
camel is indistinguishable from a peanut--if only their humps be

Trouble with this book is that we'll end up a lot of intellectual roués:
we'll be incapable of being astonished with anything. We knew, to start
with, that science and imbecility are continuous; nevertheless so many
expressions of the merging-point are at first startling. We did think
that Prof. Hitchcock's performance in identifying the Amherst phenomenon
as a fungus was rather notable as scientific vaudeville, if we acquit
him of the charge of seriousness--or that, in a place where fungi were
so common that, before a given evening two of them sprang up, only he, a
stranger in this very fungiferous place, knew a fungus when he saw
something like a fungus--if we disregard its quick liquefaction, for
instance. It was only a monologue, however: now we have an all-star
cast: and they're not only Irish; they're royal Irish.

The royal Irishmen excluded "coal-blackness" and included fibrousness:
so then that this substance was "marsh paper," which "had been raised
into the air by storms of wind, and had again fallen."

Second act:

It was said that, according to M. Ehrenberg, "the meteor-paper was found
to consist partly of vegetable matter, chiefly of conifervæ."

Third act:

Meeting of the royal Irishmen: chairs, tables, Irishmen:

Some flakes of marsh-paper were exhibited.

Their composition was chiefly of conifervæ.

This was a double inclusion: or it's the method of agreement that
logicians make so much of. So no logician would be satisfied with
identifying a peanut as a camel, because both have humps: he demands
accessory agreement--that both can live a long time without water, for

Now, it's not so very unreasonable, at least to the free and easy
vaudeville standards that, throughout this book, we are considering, to
think that a green substance could be snatched up from one place in a
whirlwind, and fall as a black substance somewhere else: but the royal
Irishmen excluded something else, and it is a datum that was as
accessible to them as it is to me:

That, according to Chladni, this was no little, local deposition that
was seen to occur by some indefinite person living near a pond

It was a tremendous fall from a vast sky-area.

Likely enough all the marsh paper in the world could not have supplied

At the same time, this substance was falling "in great quantities," in
Norway and Pomerania. Or see Kirkwood, _Meteoric Astronomy_, p. 66:

"Substance like charred paper fell in Norway and other parts of northern
Europe, Jan. 31, 1686."

Or a whirlwind, with a distribution as wide as that, would not
acceptably, I should say, have so specialized in the rare substance
called "marsh paper." There'd have been falls of fence rails, roofs of
houses, parts of trees. Nothing is said of the occurrence of a tornado
in northern Europe, in January, 1686. There is record only of this one
substance having fallen in various places.

Time went on, but the conventional determination to exclude data of all
falls to this earth, except of substances of this earth, and of ordinary
meteoric matter, strengthened.

_Annals of Philosophy_, 16-68:

The substance that fell in January, 1686, is described as "a mass of
black leaves, having the appearance of burnt paper, but harder, and
cohering, and brittle."

"Marsh paper" is not mentioned, and there is nothing said of the
"conifervæ," which seemed so convincing to the royal Irishmen. Vegetable
composition is disregarded, quite as it might be by someone who might
find it convenient to identify a crook-necked squash as a big fishhook.

Meteorites are usually covered with a black crust, more or less
scale-like. The substance of 1686 is black and scale-like. If so be
convenience, "leaf-likeness" is "scale-likeness." In this attempt to
assimilate with the conventional, we are told that the substance is a
mineral mass: that it is like the black scales that cover meteorites.

The scientist who made this "identification" was Von Grotthus. He had
appealed to the god Chemical Analysis. Or the power and glory of
mankind--with which we're not always so impressed--but the gods must
tell us what we want them to tell us. We see again that, though nothing
has identity of its own, anything can be "identified" as anything. Or
there's nothing that's not reasonable, if one snoopeth not into its
exclusions. But here the conflict did not end. Berzelius examined the
substance. He could not find nickel in it. At that time, the presence of
nickel was the "positive" test of meteoritic matter. Whereupon, with a
supposititious "positive" standard of judgment against him, Von Grotthus
revoked his "identification." (_Annals and Mag. of Nat. Hist._,

This equalization of eminences permits us to project with our own
expression, which, otherwise, would be subdued into invisibility:

That it's too bad that no one ever looked to
see--hieroglyphics?--something written upon these sheets of paper?

If we have no very great variety of substances that have fallen to this
earth; if, upon this earth's surface there is infinite variety of
substances detachable by whirlwinds, two falls of such a rare substance
as marsh paper would be remarkable.

A writer in the _Edinburgh Review_, 87-194, says that, at the time of
writing, he had before him a portion of a sheet of 200 square feet, of a
substance that had fallen at Carolath, Silesia, in 1839--exactly similar
to cotton-felt, of which clothing might have been made. The god
Microscopic Examination had spoken. The substance consisted chiefly of

_Jour. Asiatic Soc. of Bengal_, 1847-pt. 1-193:

That March 16, 1846--about the time of a fall of edible substance in
Asia Minor--an olive-gray powder fell at Shanghai. Under the microscope,
it was seen to be an aggregation of hairs of two kinds, black ones and
rather thick white ones. They were supposed to be mineral fibers, but,
when burned, they gave out "the common ammoniacal smell and smoke of
burnt hair or feathers." The writer described the phenomenon as "a cloud
of 3800 square miles of fibers, alkali, and sand." In a postscript, he
says that other investigators, with more powerful microscopes, gave
opinion that the fibers were not hairs; that the substance consisted
chiefly of conifervæ.

Or the pathos of it, perhaps; or the dull and uninspired, but courageous
persistence of the scientific: everything seemingly found out is doomed
to be subverted--by more powerful microscopes and telescopes; by more
refined, precise, searching means and methods--the new pronouncements
irrepressibly bobbing up; their reception always as Truth at last;
always the illusion of the final; very little of the Intermediatist

That the new that has displaced the old will itself some day be
displaced; that it, too, will be recognized as myth-stuff--

But that if phantoms climb, spooks of ladders are good enough for them.

_Annual Register_, 1821-681:

That, according to a report by M. Lainé, French Consul at Pernambuco,
early in October, 1821, there was a shower of a substance resembling
silk. The quantity was as tremendous as might be a whole cargo, lost
somewhere between Jupiter and Mars, having drifted around perhaps for
centuries, the original fabrics slowly disintegrating. In _Annales de
Chimie_, 2-15-427, it is said that samples of this substance were sent
to France by M. Lainé, and that they proved to have some resemblances to
silky filaments which, at certain times of the year, are carried by the
wind near Paris.

In the _Annals of Philosophy_, n.s., 12-93, there is mention of a
fibrous substance like blue silk that fell near Naumberg, March 23,
1665. According to Chladni (_Annales de Chimie_, 2-31-264), the quantity
was great. He places a question mark before the date.

One of the advantages of Intermediatism is that, in the oneness of
quasiness, there can be no mixed metaphors. Whatever is acceptable of
anything, is, in some degree or aspect, acceptable of everything. So it
is quite proper to speak, for instance, of something that is as firm as
a rock and that sails in a majestic march. The Irish are good monists:
they have of course been laughed at for their keener perceptions. So
it's a book we're writing, or it's a procession, or it's a museum, with
the Chamber of Horrors rather over-emphasized. A rather horrible
correlation occurs in the _Scientific American_, 1859-178. What
interests us is that a correspondent saw a silky substance fall from the
sky--there was an aurora borealis at the time--he attributes the
substance to the aurora.

Since the time of Darwin, the classic explanation has been that all
silky substances that fall from the sky are spider webs. In 1832, aboard
the _Beagle_, at the mouth of La Plata River, 60 miles from land, Darwin
saw an enormous number of spiders, of the kind usually known as
"gossamer" spiders, little aeronauts that cast out filaments by which
the wind carries them.

It's difficult to express that silky substances that have fallen to this
earth were not spider webs. My own acceptance is that spider webs are
the merger; that there have been falls of an externally derived silky
substance, and also of the webs, or strands, rather, of aeronautic
spiders indigenous to this earth; that in some instances it is
impossible to distinguish one from the other. Of course, our expression
upon silky substances will merge away into expressions upon other
seeming textile substances, and I don't know how much better off we'll

Except that, if fabricable materials have fallen from the sky--

Simply to establish acceptance of that may be doing well enough in this
book of first and tentative explorations.

In _All the Year Round_, 8-254, is described a fall that took place in
England, Sept. 21, 1741, in the towns of Bradly, Selborne, and
Alresford, and in a triangular space included by these three towns. The
substance is described as "cobwebs"--but it fell in flake-formation, or
in "flakes or rags about one inch broad and five or six inches long."
Also these flakes were of a relatively heavy substance--"they fell with
some velocity." The quantity was great--the shortest side of the
triangular space is eight miles long. In the _Wernerian Nat. Hist. Soc.
Trans._, 5-386, it is said that there were two falls--that they were
some hours apart--a datum that is becoming familiar to us--a datum that
cannot be taken into the fold, unless we find it repeated over and over
and over again. It is said that the second fall lasted from nine o'clock
in the morning until night.

Now the hypnosis of the classic--that what we call intelligence is only
an expression of inequilibrium; that when mental adjustments are made,
intelligence ceases--or, of course, that intelligence is the confession
of ignorance. If you have intelligence upon any subject, that is
something you're still learning--if we agree that that which is learned
is always mechanically done--in quasi-terms, of course, because nothing
is ever finally learned.

It was decided that this substance was spiders' web. That was
adjustment. But it's not adjustment to me; so I'm afraid I shall have
some intelligence in this matter. If I ever arrive at adjustment upon
this subject, then, upon this subject, I shall be able to have no
thoughts, except routine-thoughts. I haven't yet quite decided
absolutely everything, so I am able to point out:

That this substance was of quantity so enormous that it attracted wide
attention when it came down--

That it would have been equally noteworthy when it went up--

That there is no record of anyone, in England or elsewhere, having seen
tons of "spider webs" going up, September, 1741.

Further confession of intelligence upon my part:

That, if it be contested, then, that the place of origin may have been
far away, but still terrestrial--

Then it's that other familiar matter of incredible "marksmanship"
again--hitting a small, triangular space for hours--interval of
hours--then from nine in the morning until night: same small triangular

These are the disregards of the classic explanation. There is no mention
of spiders having been seen to fall, but a good inclusion is that,
though this substance fell in good-sized flakes of considerable weight,
it was viscous. In this respect it was like cobwebs: dogs nosing it on
grass, were blindfolded with it. This circumstance does strongly suggest

Unless we can accept that, in regions aloft, there are vast viscous or
gelatinous areas, and that things passing through become daubed. Or
perhaps we clear up the confusion in the descriptions of the substance
that fell in 1841 and 1846, in Asia Minor, described in one publication
as gelatinous, and in another as a cereal--that it was a cereal that had
passed through a gelatinous region. That the paper-like substance of
Memel may have had such an experience may be indicated in that Ehrenberg
found in it gelatinous matter, which he called "nostoc." (_Annals and
Mag. of Nat. Hist._, 1-3-185.)

_Scientific American_, 45-337:

Fall of a substance described as "cobwebs," latter part of October,
1881, in Milwaukee, Wis., and other towns: other towns mentioned are
Green Bay, Vesburge, Fort Howard, Sheboygan, and Ozaukee. The aeronautic
spiders are known as "gossamer" spiders, because of the extreme
lightness of the filaments that they cast out to the wind. Of the
substance that fell in Wisconsin, it is said:

"In all instances the webs were strong in texture and very white."

The Editor says:

"Curiously enough, there is no mention in any of the reports that we
have seen, of the presence of spiders."

So our attempt to divorce a possible external product from its
terrestrial merger: then our joy of the prospector who thinks he's found

The _Monthly Weather Review_, 26-566, quotes the _Montgomery_ (Ala.)

That, upon Nov. 21, 1898, numerous batches of spider-web-like substance
fell in Montgomery, in strands and in occasional masses several inches
long and several inches broad. According to the writer, it was not
spiders' web, but something like asbestos; also that it was

The Editor of the _Review_ says that he sees no reason for doubting that
these masses were cobwebs.

_La Nature_, 1883-342:

A correspondent writes that he sends a sample of a substance said to
have fallen at Montussan (Gironde), Oct. 16, 1883. According to a
witness, quoted by the correspondent, a thick cloud, accompanied by rain
and a violent wind, had appeared. This cloud was composed of a woolly
substance in lumps the size of a fist, which fell to the ground. The
Editor (Tissandier) says of this substance that it was white, but was
something that had been burned. It was fibrous. M. Tissandier astonishes
us by saying that he cannot identify this substance. We thought that
anything could be "identified" as anything. He can say only that the
cloud in question must have been an extraordinary conglomeration.

_Annual Register, 1832-447:_

That, March, 1832, there fell, in the fields of Kourianof, Russia, a
combustible yellowish substance, covering, at least two inches thick, an
area of 600 or 700 square feet. It was resinous and yellowish: so one
inclines to the conventional explanation that it was pollen from pine
trees--but, when torn, it had the tenacity of cotton. When placed in
water, it had the consistency of resin. "This resin had the color of
amber, was elastic, like India rubber, and smelled like prepared oil
mixed with wax."

So in general our notion of cargoes--and our notion of cargoes of food

In _Philosophical Transactions_, 19-224, is an extract from a letter by
Mr. Robert Vans, of Kilkenny, Ireland, dated Nov. 15, 1695: that there
had been "of late," in the counties of Limerick and Tipperary, showers
of a sort of matter like butter or grease... having "a very stinking

There follows an extract from a letter by the Bishop of Cloyne, upon "a
very odd phenomenon," which was observed in Munster and Leinster: that
for a good part of the spring of 1695 there fell a substance which the
country people called "butter"--"soft, clammy, and of a dark
yellow"--that cattle fed "indifferently" in fields where this substance

"It fell in lumps as big as the end of one's finger." It had a "strong
ill scent." His Grace calls it a "stinking dew."

In Mr. Vans' letter, it is said that the "butter" was supposed to have
medicinal properties, and "was gathered in pots and other vessels by
some of the inhabitants of this place."


In all the following volumes of _Philosophical Transactions_ there is no
speculation upon this extraordinary subject. Ostracism. The fate of this
datum is a good instance of damnation, not by denial, and not by
explaining away, but by simple disregard. The fall is listed by
Chladni, and is mentioned in other catalogues, but, from the absence of
all inquiry, and of all but formal mention, we see that it has been
under excommunication as much as was ever anything by the preceding
system. The datum has been buried alive. It is as irreconcilable with
the modern system of dogmas as ever were geologic strata and vermiform
appendix with the preceding system--

If, intermittently, or "for a good part of the spring," this substance
fell in two Irish provinces, and nowhere else, we have, stronger than
before, a sense of a stationary region overhead, or a region that
receives products like this earth's products, but from external sources,
a region in which this earth's gravitational and meteorological forces
are relatively inert--if for many weeks a good part of this substance
did hover before finally falling. We suppose that, in 1685, Mr. Vans and
the Bishop of Cloyne could describe what they saw as well as could
witnesses in 1885: nevertheless, it is going far back; we shall have to
have many modern instances before we can accept.

As to other falls, or another fall, it is said in the _Amer. Jour.
Sci._, 1-28-361, that, April 11, 1832--about a month after the fall of
the substance of Kourianof--fell a substance that was wine-yellow,
transparent, soft, and smelling like rancid oil. M. Herman, a chemist
who examined it, named it "sky oil." For analysis and chemic reactions,
see the _Journal_. The _Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal_, 13-368,
mentions an "unctuous" substance that fell near Rotterdam, in 1832. In
_Comptes Rendus_, 13-215, there is an account of an oily, reddish matter
that fell at Genoa, February, 1841.

Whatever it may have been--

Altogether, most of our difficulties are problems that we should leave
to later developers of super-geography, I think. A discoverer of America
should leave Long Island to someone else. If there be, plying back and
forth from Jupiter and Mars and Venus, super-constructions that are
sometimes wrecked, we think of fuel as well as cargoes. Of course the
most convincing data would be of coal falling from the sky:
nevertheless, one does suspect that oil-burning engines were discovered
ages ago in more advanced worlds--but, as I say, we should leave
something to our disciples--so we'll not especially wonder whether these
butter-like or oily substances were food or fuel. So we merely note that
in the _Scientific American_, 24-323, is an account of hail that fell,
in the middle of April, 1871, in Mississippi, in which was a substance
described as turpentine.

Something that tasted like orange water, in hailstones, about the first
of June, 1842, near Nîmes, France; identified as nitric acid (_Jour. de
Pharmacie_, 1845-273).

Hail and ashes, in Ireland, 1755 (_Sci. Amer._, 5-168).

That, at Elizabeth, N.J., June 9, 1874, fell hail in which was a
substance, said, by Prof. Leeds, of Stevens Institute, to be carbonate
of soda (_Sci. Amer._, 30-262).

We are getting a little away from the lines of our composition, but it
will be an important point later that so many extraordinary falls have
occurred with hail. Or--if they were of substances that had had origin
upon some other part of this earth's surface--had the hail, too, that
origin? Our acceptance here will depend upon the number of instances.
Reasonably enough, some of the things that fall to this earth should
coincide with falls of hail.

As to vegetable substances in quantities so great as to suggest lost
cargoes, we have a note in the _Intellectual Observer_, 3-468: that,
upon the first of May, 1863, a rain fell at Perpignan, "bringing down
with it a red substance, which proved on examination to be a red meal
mixed with fine sand." At various points along the Mediterranean, this
substance fell.

There is, in _Philosophical Transactions_, 16-281, an account of a
seeming cereal, said to have fallen in Wiltshire, in 1686--said that
some of the "wheat" fell "enclosed in hailstones"--but the writer in
_Transactions_, says that he had examined the grains, and that they were
nothing but seeds of ivy berries dislodged from holes and chinks where
birds had hidden them. If birds still hide ivy seeds, and if winds still
blow, I don't see why the phenomenon has not repeated in more than two
hundred years since.

Or the red matter in rain, at Siena, Italy, May, 1830; said, by Arago,
to have been vegetable matter (Arago, _OEuvres_, 12-468).

Somebody should collect data of falls at Siena alone.

In the _Monthly Weather Review_, 29-465, a correspondent writes that,
upon Feb. 16, 1901, at Pawpaw, Michigan, upon a day that was so calm
that his windmill did not run, fell a brown dust that looked like
vegetable matter. The Editor of the _Review_ concludes that this was no
widespread fall from a tornado, because it had been reported from
nowhere else.

Rancidness--putridity--decomposition--a note that has been struck many
times. In a positive sense, of course, nothing means anything, or every
meaning is continuous with all other meanings: or that all evidences of
guilt, for instance, are just as good evidences of innocence--but this
condition seems to mean--things lying around among the stars a long
time. Horrible disaster in the time of Julius Caesar; remains from it
not reaching this earth till the time of the Bishop of Cloyne: we leave
to later research the discussion of bacterial action and decomposition,
and whether bacteria could survive in what we call space, of which we
know nothing--

_Chemical News_, 35-183:

Dr. A.T. Machattie, F.C.S., writes that, at London, Ontario, Feb. 24,
1868, in a violent storm, fell, with snow, a dark-colored substance,
estimated at 500 tons, over a belt 50 miles by 10 miles. It was examined
under a microscope, by Dr. Machattie, who found it to consist mainly of
vegetable matter "far advanced in decomposition." The substance was
examined by Dr. James Adams, of Glasgow, who gave his opinion that it
was the remains of cereals. Dr. Machattie points out that for months
before this fall the ground of Canada had been frozen, so that in this
case a more than ordinarily remote origin has to be thought of. Dr.
Machattie thinks of origin to the south. "However," he says, "this is
mere conjecture."

_Amer. Jour. Sci._, 1841-40:

That, March 24, 1840--during a thunderstorm--at Rajkit, India, occurred
a fall of grain. It was reported by Col. Sykes, of the British

The natives were greatly excited--because it was grain of a kind unknown
to them.

Usually comes forward a scientist who knows more of the things that
natives know best than the natives know--but it so happens that the
usual thing was not done definitely in this instance:

"The grain was shown to some botanists, who did not immediately
recognize it, but thought it to be either a spartium or a vicia."


Lead, silver, diamonds, glass.

They sound like the accursed, but they're not: they're now of the
chosen--that is, when they occur in metallic or stony masses that
Science has recognized as meteorites. We find that resistance is to
substances not so mixed in or incorporated.

Of accursed data, it seems to me that punk is pretty damnable. In the
_Report of the British Association_, 1878-376, there is mention of a
light chocolate-brown substance that has fallen with meteorites. No
particulars given; not another mention anywhere else that I can find. In
this English publication, the word "punk" is not used; the substance is
called "amadou." I suppose, if the datum has anywhere been admitted to
French publications, the word "amadou" has been avoided, and "punk"

Or oneness of allness: scientific works and social registers: a
Goldstein who can't get in as Goldstein, gets in as Jackson.

The fall of sulphur from the sky has been especially repulsive to the
modern orthodoxy--largely because of its associations with the
superstitions or principles of the preceding orthodoxy--stories of
devils: sulphurous exhalations. Several writers have said that they have
had this feeling. So the scientific reactionists, who have rabidly
fought the preceding, because it was the preceding: and the scientific
prudes, who, in sheer exclusionism, have held lean hands over pale eyes,
denying falls of sulphur. I have many notes upon the sulphurous odor of
meteorites, and many notes upon phosphorescence of things that come from
externality. Some day I shall look over old stories of demons that have
appeared sulphurously upon this earth, with the idea of expressing that
we have often had undesirable visitors from other worlds; or that an
indication of external derivation is sulphurousness. I expect some day
to rationalize demonology, but just at present we are scarcely far
enough advanced to go so far back.

For a circumstantial account of a mass of burning sulphur, about the
size of a man's fist, that fell at Pultusk, Poland, Jan. 30, 1868, upon
a road, where it was stamped out by a crowd of villagers, see _Rept.
Brit. Assoc._, 1874-272.

The power of the exclusionists lies in that in their stand are combined
both modern and archaic systematists. Falls of sandstone and limestone
are repulsive to both theologians and scientists. Sandstone and
limestone suggest other worlds upon which occur processes like
geological processes; but limestone, as a fossiliferous substance, is of
course especially of the unchosen.

In _Science_, March 9, 1888, we read of a block of limestone, said to
have fallen near Middleburg, Florida. It was exhibited at the
Sub-tropical Exposition, at Jacksonville. The writer, in _Science_,
denies that it fell from the sky. His reasoning is:

There is no limestone in the sky;

Therefore this limestone did not fall from the sky.

Better reasoning I cannot conceive of--because we see that a final major
premise--universal--true--would include all things: that, then, would
leave nothing to reason about--so then that all reasoning must be based
upon "something" not universal, or only a phantom intermediate to the
two finalities of nothingness and allness, or negativeness and

_La Nature_, 1890-2-127:

Fall, at Pel-et-Der (L'Aube), France, June 6, 1890, of limestone
pebbles. Identified with limestone at Château-Landon--or up and down in
a whirlwind. But they fell with hail--which, in June, could not very
well be identified with ice from Château-Landon. Coincidence, perhaps.

Upon page 70, _Science Gossip_, 1887, the Editor says, of a stone that
was reported to have fallen at Little Lever, England, that a sample had
been sent to him. It was sandstone. Therefore it had not fallen, but had
been on the ground in the first place. But, upon page 140, _Science
Gossip_, 1887, is an account of "a large, smooth, water-worn, gritty
sandstone pebble" that had been found in the wood of a full-grown beech
tree. Looks to me as if it had fallen red-hot, and had penetrated the
tree with high velocity. But I have never heard of anything falling
red-hot from a whirlwind--

The wood around this sandstone pebble was black, as if charred.

Dr. Farrington, for instance, in his books, does not even mention
sandstone. However, the British Association, though reluctant, is less
exclusive: _Report_ of 1860, p. 197: substance about the size of a
duck's egg, that fell at Raphoe, Ireland, June 9, 1860--date questioned.
It is not definitely said that this substance was sandstone, but that it
"resembled" friable sandstone.

Falls of salt have occurred often. They have been avoided by
scientific writers, because of the dictum that only water and
not substances held in solution, can be raised by evaporation.
However, falls of salty water have received attention from
Dalton and others, and have been attributed to whirlwinds from the sea.
This is so reasonably contested--quasi-reasonably--as to places not
far from the sea--

But the fall of salt that occurred high in the mountains of

We could have predicted that that datum could be found somewhere. Let
anything be explained in local terms of the coast of England--but also
has it occurred high in the mountains of Switzerland.

Large crystals of salt fell--in a hailstorm--Aug. 20, 1870, in
Switzerland. The orthodox explanation is a crime: whoever made it,
should have had his finger-prints taken. We are told (_An. Rec. Sci._,
1872) that these objects of salt "came over the Mediterranean from some
part of Africa."

Or the hypnosis of the conventional--provided it be glib. One reads such
an assertion, and provided it be suave and brief and conventional, one
seldom questions--or thinks "very strange" and then forgets. One has an
impression from geography lessons: Mediterranean not more than three
inches wide, on the map; Switzerland only a few more inches away. These
sizable masses of salt are described in the _Amer. Jour. Sci._, 3-3-239,
as "essentially imperfect cubic crystals of common salt." As to
occurrence with hail--that can in one, or ten, or twenty, instances be
called a coincidence.

Another datum: extraordinary year 1883:

London _Times_, Dec. 25, 1883:

Translation from a Turkish newspaper; a substance that fell at Scutari,
Dec. 2, 1883; described as an unknown substance, in particles--or
flakes?--like snow. "It was found to be saltish to the taste, and to
dissolve readily in water."


"Black, capillary matter" that fell, Nov. 16, 1857, at Charleston, S.C.
(_Amer. Jour. Sci._, 2-31-459).

Fall of small, friable, vesicular masses, from size of a pea to size of
a walnut, at Lobau, Jan. 18, 1835 (_Rept. Brit. Assoc._, 1860-85).

Objects that fell at Peshawur, India, June, 1893, during a storm:
substance that looked like crystallized niter, and that tasted like
sugar (_Nature_, July 13, 1893).

I suppose sometimes deep-sea fishes have their noses bumped by cinders.
If their regions be subjacent to Cunard or White Star routes, they're
especially likely to be bumped. I conceive of no inquiry: they're
deep-sea fishes.

Or the slag of Slains. That it was a furnace-product. The Rev. James
Rust seemed to feel bumped. He tried in vain to arouse inquiry.

As to a report, from Chicago, April 9, 1879, that slag had fallen from
the sky, Prof. E.S. Bastian (_Amer. Jour. Sci._, 3-18-78) says that the
slag "had been on the ground in the first place." It was furnace-slag.
"A chemical examination of the specimens has shown that they possess
none of the characteristics of true meteorites."

Over and over and over again, the universal delusion; hope and despair
of attempted positivism; that there can be real criteria, or distinct
characteristics of anything. If anybody can define--not merely suppose,
like Prof. Bastian, that he can define--the true characteristics of
anything, or so localize trueness anywhere, he makes the discovery for
which the cosmos is laboring. He will be instantly translated, like
Elijah, into the Positive Absolute. My own notion is that, in a moment
of super-concentration, Elijah became so nearly a real prophet that he
was translated to heaven, or to the Positive Absolute, with such
velocity that he left an incandescent train behind him. As we go along,
we shall find the "true test of meteoritic material," which in the past
has been taken as an absolute, dissolving into almost utmost nebulosity.
Prof. Bastian explains mechanically, or in terms of the usual reflexes
to all reports of unwelcome substances: that near where the slag had
been found, telegraph wires had been struck by lightning; that particles
of melted wire had been seen to fall near the slag--which had been on
the ground in the first place. But, according to the _New York Times_,
April 14, 1879, about two bushels of this substance had fallen.

Something that was said to have fallen at Darmstadt, June 7, 1846;
listed by Greg (_Rept. Brit. Assoc._, 1867-416) as "only slag."

_Philosophical Magazine_, 4-10-381:

That, in 1855, a large stone was found far in the interior of a tree, in
Battersea Fields.

Sometimes cannon balls are found embedded in trees. Doesn't seem to be
anything to discuss; doesn't seem discussable that any one would cut a
hole in a tree and hide a cannon ball, which one could take to bed, and
hide under one's pillow, just as easily. So with the stone of Battersea
Fields. What is there to say, except that it fell with high velocity and
embedded in the tree? Nevertheless, there was a great deal of

Because, at the foot of the tree, as if broken off the stone, fragments
of slag were found.

I have nine other instances.

Slag and cinders and ashes, and you won't believe, and neither will I,
that they came from the furnaces of vast aerial super-constructions.
We'll see what looks acceptable.

As to ashes, the difficulties are great, because we'd expect many falls
of terrestrially derived ashes--volcanoes and forest fires.

In some of our acceptances, I have felt a little radical--

I suppose that one of our main motives is to show that there is, in
quasi-existence, nothing but the preposterous--or something intermediate
to absolute preposterousness and final reasonableness--that the new is
the obviously preposterous; that it becomes the established and
disguisedly preposterous; that it is displaced, after a while, and is
again seen to be the preposterous. Or that all progress is from the
outrageous to the academic or sanctified, and back to the
outrageous--modified, however, by a trend of higher and higher
approximation to the impreposterous. Sometimes I feel a little more
uninspired than at other times, but I think we're pretty well accustomed
now to the oneness of allness; or that the methods of science in
maintaining its system are as outrageous as the attempts of the damned
to break in. In the _Annual Record of Science_, 1875-241, Prof. Daubrée
is quoted: that ashes that had fallen in the Azores had come from the
Chicago fire--

Or the damned and the saved, and there's little to choose between them;
and angels are beings that have not obviously barbed tails to them--or
never have such bad manners as to stroke an angel below the waist-line.

However this especial outrage was challenged: the Editor of the _Record_
returns to it, in the issue of 1876: considers it "in the highest degree
improper to say that the ashes of Chicago were landed in the Azores."

_Bull. Soc. Astro. de France_, 22-245:

Account of a white substance, like ashes, that fell at Annoy, France,
March 27, 1908: simply called a curious phenomenon; no attempt to trace
to a terrestrial source.

Flake formations, which may signify passage through a region of
pressure, are common; but spherical formations--as if of things that
have rolled and rolled along planar regions somewhere--are commoner:

_Nature_, Jan. 10, 1884, quotes a Kimberley newspaper:

That, toward the close of November, 1883, a thick shower of ashy matter
fell at Queenstown, South Africa. The matter was in marble-sized balls,
which were soft and pulpy, but which, upon drying, crumbled at touch.
The shower was confined to one narrow streak of land. It would be only
ordinarily preposterous to attribute this substance to Krakatoa--

But, with the fall, loud noises were heard--

But I'll omit many notes upon ashes: if ashes should sift down upon
deep-sea fishes, that is not to say that they came from steamships.

Data of falls of cinders have been especially damned by Mr. Symons, the
meteorologist, some of whose investigations we'll investigate

Notice of a fall, in Victoria, Australia, April 14, 1875 (_Rept. Brit.
Assoc._, 1875-242)--at least we are told, in the reluctant way, that
someone "thought" he saw matter fall near him at night, and the next day
found something that looked like cinders.

In the _Proc. of the London Roy. Soc._, 19-122, there is an account of
cinders that fell on the deck of a lightship, Jan. 9, 1873. In the
_Amer. Jour. Sci._, 2-24-449, there is a notice that the Editor had
received a specimen of cinders said to have fallen--in showery
weather--upon a farm, near Ottowa, Ill., Jan. 17, 1857.

But after all, ambiguous things they are, cinders or ashes or slag or
clinkers, the high priest of the accursed that must speak aloud for us
is--coal that has fallen from the sky.

Or coke:

The person who thought he saw something like cinders, also thought he
saw something like coke, we are told.

_Nature_, 36-119:

Something that "looked exactly like coke" that fell--during a
thunderstorm--in the Orne, France, April 24, 1887.

Or charcoal:

Dr. Angus Smith, in the _Lit. and Phil. Soc. of Manchester Memoirs_,
2-9-146, says that, about 1827--like a great deal in Lyell's
_Principles_ and Darwin's _Origin_, this account is from
hearsay--something fell from the sky, near Allport, England. It fell
luminously, with a loud report, and scattered in a field. A fragment
that was seen by Dr. Smith, is described by him as having "the
appearance of a piece of common wood charcoal." Nevertheless, the
reassured feeling of the faithful, upon reading this, is burdened with
data of differences: the substance was so uncommonly heavy that it
seemed as if it had iron in it; also there was "a sprinkling of
sulphur." This material is said, by Prof. Baden-Powell, to be "totally
unlike that of any other meteorite." Greg, in his catalogue (_Rept.
Brit. Assoc._, 1860-73), calls it "a more than doubtful substance"--but
again, against reassurance, that is not doubt of authenticity. Greg says
that it is like compact charcoal, with particles of sulphur and iron
pyrites embedded.

Reassurance rises again:

Prof. Baden-Powell says: "It contains also charcoal, which might perhaps
be acquired from matter among which it fell."

This is a common reflex with the exclusionists: that substances not
"truly meteoritic" did not fall from the sky, but were picked up by
"truly meteoritic" things, of course only on their surfaces, by impact
with this earth.

Rhythm of reassurances and their declines:

According to Dr. Smith, this substance was not merely coated with
charcoal; his analysis gives 43.59 per cent carbon.

Our acceptance that coal has fallen from the sky will be via data of
resinous substances and bituminous substances, which merge so that they
cannot be told apart.

Resinous substance said to have fallen at Kaba, Hungary, April 15, 1887
(_Rept. Brit. Assoc._, 1860-94).

A resinous substance that fell after a fireball? at Neuhaus, Bohemia,
Dec. 17, 1824 (_Rept. Brit. Assoc._, 1860-70).

Fall, July 28, 1885, at Luchon, during a storm, of a brownish substance;
very friable, carbonaceous matter; when burned it gave out a resinous
odor (_Comptes Rendus_, 103-837).

Substance that fell, Feb. 17, 18, 19, 1841, at Genoa, Italy, said to
have been resinous; said by Arago (_OEuvres_, 12-469) to have been
bituminous matter and sand.

Fall--during a thunderstorm--July, 1681, near Cape Cod, upon the deck of
an English vessel, the _Albemarle_, of "burning, bituminous matter"
(_Edin. New Phil. Jour._, 26-86); a fall, at Christiania, Norway, June
13, 1822, of bituminous matter, listed by Greg as doubtful; fall of
bituminous matter, in Germany, March 8, 1798, listed by Greg. Lockyer
(_The Meteoric Hypothesis_, p. 24) says that the substance that fell at
the Cape of Good Hope, Oct. 13, 1838--about five cubic feet of it:
substance so soft that it was cuttable with a knife--"after being
experimented upon, it left a residue, which gave out a very bituminous

And this inclusion of Lockyer's--so far as findable in all books that I
have read--is, in books, about as close as we can get to our
desideratum--that coal has fallen from the sky. Dr. Farrington, except
with a brief mention, ignores the whole subject of the fall of
carbonaceous matter from the sky. Proctor, in all of his books that I
have read--is, in books, about as close as we can get to the admission
that carbonaceous matter has been found in meteorites "in very minute
quantities"--or my own suspicion is that it is possible to damn
something else only by losing one's own soul--quasi-soul, of course.

_Sci. Amer._, 35-120:

That the substance that fell at the Cape of Good Hope "resembled a piece
of anthracite coal more than anything else."

It's a mistake, I think: the resemblance is to bituminous coal--but it
is from the periodicals that we must get our data. To the writers of
books upon meteorites, it would be as wicked--by which we mean departure
from the characters of an established species--quasi-established, of
course--to say that coal has fallen from the sky, as would be, to
something in a barnyard, a temptation that it climb a tree and catch a
bird. Domestic things in a barnyard: and how wild things from forests
outside seem to them. Or the homeopathist--but we shall shovel data of

And, if over and over, we shall learn of masses of soft coal that have
fallen upon this earth, if in no instance has it been asserted that the
masses did not fall, but were upon the ground in the first place; if we
have many instances, this time we turn down good and hard the mechanical
reflex that these masses were carried from one place to another in
whirlwinds, because we find it too difficult to accept that whirlwinds
could so select, or so specialize in a peculiar substance. Among writers
of books, the only one I know of who makes more than brief mention is
Sir Robert Ball. He represents a still more antique orthodoxy, or is an
exclusionist of the old type, still holding out against even meteorites.
He cites several falls of carbonaceous matter, but with disregards that
make for reasonableness that earthy matter may have been caught up by
whirlwinds and flung down somewhere else. If he had given a full list,
he would be called upon to explain the special affinity of whirlwinds
for a special kind of coal. He does not give a full list. We shall have
all that's findable, and we shall see that against this disease we're
writing, the homeopathist's prescription availeth not. Another
exclusionist was Prof. Lawrence Smith. His psycho-tropism was to
respond to all reports of carbonaceous matter falling from the sky, by
saying that this damned matter had been deposited upon things of the
chosen by impact with this earth. Most of our data antedate him, or were
contemporaneous with him, or were as accessible to him as to us. In his
attempted positivism it is simply--and beautifully--disregarded that,
according to Berthelot, Berzelius, Cloez, Wohler and others these masses
are not merely coated with carbonaceous matter, but are carbonaceous
throughout, or are permeated throughout. How anyone could so resolutely
and dogmatically and beautifully and blindly hold out would puzzle us
were it not for our acceptance that only to think is to exclude and
include; and to exclude some things that have as much right to come in
as have the included--that to have an opinion upon any subject is to be
a Lawrence Smith--because there is no definite subject.

Dr. Walter Flight (_Eclectic Magazine_, 89-71) says, of the substance
that fell near Alais, France, March 15, 1806, that it "emits a faint
bituminous substance" when heated, according to the observations of
Bergelius and a commission appointed by the French Academy. This time we
have not the reluctances expressed in such words as "like" and
"resembling." We are told that this substance is "an earthy kind of

As to "minute quantities" we are told that the substance that fell at
the Cape of Good Hope has in it a little more than a quarter of organic
matter, which, in alcohol, gives the familiar reaction of yellow,
resinous matter. Other instances given by Dr. Flight are:

Carbonaceous matter that fell in 1840, in Tennessee; Cranbourne,
Australia, 1861; Montauban, France, May 14, 1864 (twenty masses, some of
them as large as a human head, of a substance that "resembled a
dull-colored earthy lignite"); Goalpara, India, about 1867 (about 8 per
cent of a hydrocarbon); at Ornans, France, July 11, 1868; substance with
"an organic, combustible ingredient," at Hessle, Sweden, Jan. 1, 1860.

_Knowledge_, 4-134:

That, according to M. Daubrée, the substance that had fallen in the
Argentine Republic, "resembled certain kinds of lignite and boghead
coal." In _Comptes Rendus_, 96-1764, it is said that this mass fell,
June 30, 1880, in the province Entre Ríos, Argentina: that it is "like"
brown coal; that it resembles all the other carbonaceous masses that
have fallen from the sky.

Something that fell at Grazac, France, Aug. 10, 1885: when burned, it
gave out a bituminous odor (_Comptes Rendus_, 104-1771).

Carbonaceous substance that fell at Rajpunta, India, Jan. 22, 1911: very
friable: 50 per cent of its soluble in water (_Records Geol. Survey of
India_, 44-pt. 1-41).

A combustible carbonaceous substance that fell with sand at Naples,
March 14, 1818 (_Amer. Jour. Sci._, 1-1-309).

_Sci. Amer. Sup._, 29-11798:

That, June 9, 1889, a very friable substance, of a deep, greenish black,
fell at Mighei, Russia. It contained 5 per cent organic matter, which,
when powdered and digested in alcohol, yielded, after evaporation, a
bright yellow resin. In this mass was 2 per cent of an unknown mineral.

Cinders and ashes and slag and coke and charcoal and coal.

And the things that sometimes deep-sea fishes are bumped by.

Reluctances and the disguises or covered retreats of such words as
"like" and "resemble"--or that conditions of Intermediateness forbid
abrupt transitions--but that the spirit animating all Intermediateness
is to achieve abrupt transitions--because, if anything could finally
break away from its origin and environment, that would be a real
thing--something not merging away indistinguishably with the
surrounding. So all attempt to be original; all attempt to invent
something that is more than mere extension or modification of the
preceding, is positivism--or that if one could conceive of a device to
catch flies, positively different from, or unrelated to, all other
devices--up he'd shoot to heaven, or the Positive Absolute--leaving
behind such an incandescent train that in one age it would be said that
he had gone aloft in a fiery chariot, and in another age that he had
been struck by lightning--

I'm collecting notes upon persons supposed to have been struck by
lightning. I think that high approximation to positivism has often been
achieved--instantaneous translation--residue of negativeness left
behind, looking much like effects of a stroke of lightning. Some day I
shall tell the story of the _Marie Celeste_--"properly," as the
_Scientific American Supplement_ would say--mysterious disappearance of
a sea captain, his family, and the crew--

Of positivists, by the route of Abrupt Transition, I think that Manet
was notable--but that his approximation was held down by his intense
relativity to the public--or that it is quite as impositive to flout and
insult and defy as it is to crawl and placate. Of course, Manet began
with continuity with Courbet and others, and then, between him and Manet
there were mutual influences--but the spirit of abrupt difference is the
spirit of positivism, and Manet's stand was against the dictum that all
lights and shades must merge away suavely into one another and prepare
for one another. So a biologist like De Vries represents positivism, or
the breaking of Continuity, by trying to conceive of evolution by
mutation--against the dogma of indistinguishable gradations by "minute
variations." A Copernicus conceives of helio-centricity. Continuity is
against him. He is not permitted to break abruptly with the past. He is
permitted to publish his work, but only as "an interesting hypothesis."

Continuity--and that all that we call evolution or progress is attempt
to break away from it--

That our whole solar system was at one time attempt by planets to break
away from a parental nexus and set up as individualities, and, failing,
move in quasi-regular orbits that are expressions of relations with the
sun and with one another, all having surrendered, being now
quasi-incorporated in a higher approximation to system:

Intermediateness in its mineralogic aspect of positivism--or Iron that
strove to break away from Sulphur and Oxygen, and be real, homogeneous
Iron--failing, inasmuch as elemental iron exists only in text-book

Intermediateness in its biologic aspect of positivism--or the wild,
fantastic, grotesque, monstrous things it conceived of, sometimes in a
frenzy of effort to break away abruptly from all preceding types--but
failing, in the giraffe-effort, for instance, or only caricaturing an

All things break one relation only by the establishing of some other

All things cut an umbilical cord only to clutch a breast.

So the fight of the exclusionists to maintain the traditional--or to
prevent abrupt transition from the quasi-established--fighting so that
here, more than a century after meteorites were included, no other
notable inclusion has been made, except that of cosmic dust, data of
which Nordenskiold made more nearly real than data in opposition.

So Proctor, for instance, fought and expressed his feeling of the
preposterous, against Sir W.H. Thomson's notions of arrival upon this
earth of organisms on meteorites--

"I can only regard it as a jest" (_Knowledge_, 1-302).

Or that there is nothing but jest--or something intermediate to jest and

That ours is not an existence but an utterance;

That Momus is imagining us for the amusement of the gods, often with
such success that some of us seem almost alive--like characters in
something a novelist is writing; which often to considerable degree take
their affairs away from the novelist--

That Momus is imagining us and our arts and sciences and religions, and
is narrating or picturing us as a satire upon the gods' real existence.

Because--with many of our data of coal that has fallen from the sky as
accessible then as they are now, and with the scientific pronouncement
that coal is fossil, how, in a real existence, by which we mean a
consistent existence, or a state in which there is real intelligence, or
a form of thinking that does not indistinguishably merge away with
imbecility, could there have been such a row as that which was raised
about forty years ago over Dr. Hahn's announcement that he had found
fossils in meteorites?

Accessible to anybody at that time:

_Philosophical Magazine_, 4-17-425:

That the substance that fell at Kaba, Hungary, April 15, 1857, contained
organic matter "analagous to fossil waxes."

Or limestone:

Of the block of limestone which was reported to have fallen at
Middleburg, Florida, it is said (_Science_, 11-118) that, though
something had been seen to fall in "an old cultivated field," the
witnesses who ran to it picked up something that "had been upon the
ground in the first place." The writer who tells us this, with the usual
exclusion-imagination known as stupidity, but unjustly, because there is
no real stupidity, thinks he can think of a good-sized stone that had
for many years been in a cultivated field, but that had never been seen
before--had never interfered with plowing, for instance. He is earnest
and unjarred when he writes that this stone weighs 200 pounds. My own
notion, founded upon my own experience in seeing, is that a block of
stone weighing 500 pounds might be in one's parlor twenty years,
virtually unseen--but not in an old cultivated field, where it
interfered with plowing--not anywhere--if it interfered.

Dr. Hahn said that he had found fossils in meteorites. There is a
description of the corals, sponges, shells, and crinoids, all of them
microscopic, which he photographed, in _Popular Science_, 20-83.

Dr. Hahn was a well-known scientist. He was better known after that.

Anybody may theorize upon other worlds and conditions upon them that are
similar to our own conditions: if his notions be presented undisguisedly
as fiction, or only as an "interesting hypothesis," he'll stir up no
prude rages.

But Dr. Hahn said definitely that he had found fossils in specified
meteorites: also he published photographs of them. His book is in the
New York Public Library. In the reproductions every feature of some of
the little shells is plainly marked. If they're not shells, neither are
things under an oyster-counter. The striations are very plain: one sees
even the hinges where bivalves are joined.

Prof. Lawrence Smith (_Knowledge_, 1-258):

"Dr. Hahn is a kind of half-insane man, whose imagination has run away
with him."

Conservation of Continuity.

Then Dr. Weinland examined Dr. Hahn's specimens. He gave his opinion
that they are fossils and that they are not crystals of enstatite, as
asserted by Prof. Smith, who had never seen them.

The damnation of denial and the damnation of disregard:

After the publication of Dr. Weinland's findings--silence.


The living things that have come down to this earth:

Attempts to preserve the system:

That small frogs and toads, for instance, never have fallen from the
sky, but were--"on the ground, in the first place"; or that there have
been such falls--"up from one place in a whirlwind, and down in

Were there some especially froggy place near Europe, as there is an
especially sandy place, the scientific explanation would of course be
that all small frogs falling from the sky in Europe come from that
center of frogeity.

To start with, I'd like to emphasize something that I am permitted to
see because I am still primitive or intelligent or in a state of

That there is not one report findable of a fall of tadpoles from the

As to "there in the first place":

See _Leisure Hours_, 3-779, for accounts of small frogs, or toads, said
to have been seen to fall from the sky. The writer says that all
observers were mistaken: that the frogs or toads must have fallen from
trees or other places overhead.

Tremendous number of little toads, one or two months old, that were seen
to fall from a great thick cloud that appeared suddenly in a sky that
had been cloudless, August, 1804, near Toulouse, France, according to a
letter from Prof. Pontus to M. Arago. (_Comptes Rendus_, 3-54.)

Many instances of frogs that were seen to fall from the sky. (_Notes and
Queries_, 8-6-104); accounts of such falls, signed by witnesses. (_Notes
and Queries_, 8-6-190.)

_Scientific American_, July 12, 1873:

"A shower of frogs which darkened the air and covered the ground for a
long distance is the reported result of a recent rainstorm at Kansas
City, Mo."

As to having been there "in the first place":

Little frogs found in London, after a heavy storm, July 30, 1838.
(_Notes and Queries_, 8-7-437);

Little toads found in a desert, after a rainfall (_Notes and Queries_,

To start with I do not deny--positively--the conventional explanation of
"up and down." I think that there may have been such occurrences. I omit
many notes that I have upon indistinguishables. In the London _Times_,
July 4, 1883, there is an account of a shower of twigs and leaves and
tiny toads in a storm upon the slopes of the Apennines. These may have
been the ejectamenta of a whirlwind. I add, however, that I have notes
upon two other falls of tiny toads, in 1883, one in France and one in
Tahiti; also of fish in Scotland. But in the phenomenon of the
Apennines, the mixture seems to me to be typical of the products of a
whirlwind. The other instances seem to me to be typical of--something
like migration? Their great numbers and their homogeneity. Over and over
in these annals of the damned occurs the datum of segregation. But a
whirlwind is thought of as a condition of chaos--quasi-chaos: not final
negativeness, of course--

_Monthly Weather Review_, July, 1881:

"A small pond in the track of the cloud was sucked dry, the water being
carried over the adjoining fields together with a large quantity of soft
mud, which was scattered over the ground for half a mile around."

It is so easy to say that small frogs that have fallen from the sky had
been scooped up by a whirlwind; but here are the circumstances of a
scoop; in the exclusionist-imagination there is no regard for mud,
débris from the bottom of a pond, floating vegetation, loose things from
the shores--but a precise picking out of frogs only. Of all instances I
have that attribute the fall of small frogs or toads to whirlwinds, only
one definitely identifies or places the whirlwind. Also, as has been
said before, a pond going up would be quite as interesting as frogs
coming down. Whirlwinds we read of over and over--but where and what
whirlwind? It seems to me that anybody who had lost a pond would be
heard from. In _Symons' Meteorological Magazine_, 32-106, a fall of
small frogs, near Birmingham, England, June 30, 1892, is attributed to a
specific whirlwind--but not a word as to any special pond that had
contributed. And something that strikes my attention here is that these
frogs are described as almost white.

I'm afraid there is no escape for us: we shall have to give to
civilization upon this earth--some new worlds.

Places with white frogs in them.

Upon several occasions we have had data of unknown things that have
fallen from--somewhere. But something not to be overlooked is that if
living things have landed alive upon this earth--in spite of all we
think we know of the accelerative velocity of falling bodies--and have
propagated--why the exotic becomes the indigenous, or from the strangest
of places we'd expect the familiar. Or if hosts of living frogs have
come here--from somewhere else--every living thing upon this earth may,
ancestrally, have come from--somewhere else.

I find that I have another note upon a specific hurricane:

_Annals and Mag. of Nat. Hist._, 1-3-185:

After one of the greatest hurricanes in the history of Ireland, some
fish were found "as far as 15 yards from the edge of a lake."

Have another: this is a good one for the exclusionists:

Fall of fish in Paris: said that a neighboring pond had been blown dry.
(_Living Age_, 52-186.) Date not given, but I have seen it recorded
somewhere else.

The best-known fall of fishes from the sky is that which occurred at
Mountain Ash, in the Valley of Abedare, Glamorganshire, Feb. 11, 1859.

The Editor of the _Zoologist_, 2-677, having published a report of a
fall of fishes, writes: "I am continually receiving similar accounts of
frogs and fishes." But, in all the volumes of the _Zoologist_, I can
find only two reports of such falls. There is nothing to conclude other
than that hosts of data have been lost because orthodoxy does not look
favorably upon such reports. The _Monthly Weather Review_ records
several falls of fishes in the United States; but accounts of these
reported occurrences are not findable in other American publications.
Nevertheless, the treatment by the _Zoologist_ of the fall reported from
Mountain Ash is fair. First appears, in the issue of 1859-6493, a letter
from the Rev. John Griffith, Vicar of Abedare, asserting that the fall
had occurred, chiefly upon the property of Mr. Nixon, of Mountain Ash.
Upon page 6540, Dr. Gray, of the British Museum, bristling with
exclusionism, writes that some of these fishes, which had been sent to
him alive, were "very young minnows." He says: "On reading the evidence,
it seems to me most probably only a practical joke: that one of Mr.
Nixon's employees had thrown a pailful of water upon another, who had
thought fish in it had fallen from the sky"--had dipped up a pailful
from a brook.

Those fishes--still alive--were exhibited at the Zoological Gardens,
Regent's Park. The Editor says that one was a minnow and that the rest
were sticklebacks.

He says that Dr. Gray's explanation is no doubt right.

But, upon page 6564, he publishes a letter from another correspondent,
who apologizes for opposing "so high an authority as Dr. Gray," but says
that he had obtained some of these fishes from persons who lived at a
considerable distance apart, or considerably out of range of the playful
pail of water.

According to the _Annual Register_, 1859-14, the fishes themselves had
fallen by pailfuls.

If these fishes were not upon the ground in the first place, we base our
objections to the whirlwind explanation upon two data:

That they fell in no such distribution as one could attribute to the
discharge of a whirlwind, but upon a narrow strip of land: about 80
yards long and 12 yards wide--

The other datum is again the suggestion that at first seemed so
incredible, but for which support is piling up, a suggestion of a
stationary source overhead--

That ten minutes later another fall of fishes occurred upon this same
narrow strip of land.

Even arguing that a whirlwind may stand still axially, it discharges
tangentially. Wherever the fishes came from it does not seem thinkable
that some could have fallen and that others could have whirled even a
tenth of a minute, then falling directly after the first to fall.
Because of these evil circumstances the best adaptation was to laugh the
whole thing off and say that someone had soused someone else with a
pailful of water in which a few "very young" minnows had been caught up.

In the London _Times_, March 2, 1859, is a letter from Mr. Aaron
Roberts, curate of St. Peter's, Carmathon. In this letter the fishes are
said to have been about four inches long, but there is some question of
species. I think, myself, that they were minnows and sticklebacks. Some
persons, thinking them to be sea fishes, placed them in salt water,
according to Mr. Roberts. "The effect is stated to have been almost
instantaneous death." "Some were placed in fresh water. These seemed to
thrive well." As to narrow distribution, we are told that the fishes
fell "in and about the premises of Mr. Nixon." "It was not observed at
the time that any fish fell in any other part of the neighborhood, save
in the particular spot mentioned."

In the London _Times_, March 10, 1859, Vicar Griffith writes an account:

"The roofs of some houses were covered with them."

In this letter it is said that the largest fishes were five inches long,
and that these did not survive the fall.

_Report of the British Association_, 1859-158:

"The evidence of the fall of fish on this occasion was very conclusive.
A specimen of the fish was exhibited and was found to be the
_Gasterosteus leirus_."

_Gasterosteus_ is the stickleback.

Altogether I think we have not a sense of total perdition, when we're
damned with the explanation that someone soused someone else with a
pailful of water in which were thousands of fishes four or five inches
long, some of which covered roofs of houses, and some of which remained
ten minutes in the air. By way of contrast we offer our own acceptance:

That the bottom of a super-geographical pond had dropped out.

I have a great many notes upon the fall of fishes, despite the
difficulty these records have in getting themselves published, but I
pick out the instances that especially relate to our super-geographical
acceptances, or to the Principles of Super-Geography: or data of things
that have been in the air longer than acceptably could a whirlwind carry
them; that have fallen with a distribution narrower than is attributable
to a whirlwind; that have fallen for a considerable length of time upon
the same narrow area of land.

These three factors indicate, somewhere not far aloft, a region of
inertness to this earth's gravitation, of course, however, a region
that, by the flux and variation of all things, must at times be
susceptible--but, afterward, our heresy will bifurcate--

In amiable accommodation to the crucifixion it'll get, I think--

But so impressed are we with the datum that, though there have been many
reports of small frogs that have fallen from the sky, not one report
upon a fall of tadpoles is findable, that to these circumstances another
adjustment must be made.

Apart from our three factors of indication, an extraordinary observation
is the fall of living things without injury to them. The devotees of St.
Isaac explain that they fall upon thick grass and so survive: but Sir
James Emerson Tennant, in his _History of Ceylon_, tells of a fall of
fishes upon gravel, by which they were seemingly uninjured. Something
else apart from our three main interests is a phenomenon that looks like
what one might call an alternating series of falls of fishes, whatever
the significance may be:

Meerut, India, July, 1824 (_Living Age_, 52-186); Fifeshire, Scotland,
summer of 1824 (_Wernerian Nat. Hist. Soc. Trans._, 5-575); Moradabad,
India, July, 1826 (_Living Age_, 52-186); Ross-shire, Scotland, 1828
(_Living Age_, 52-186); Moradabad, India, July 20, 1829 (_Lin. Soc.
Trans._, 16-764); Perthshire, Scotland (_Living Age_, 52-186);
Argyleshire, Scotland, 1830, March 9, 1830 (_Recreative Science_,
3-339); Feridpoor, India, Feb. 19, 1830 (_Jour. Asiatic Soc. of Bengal_,

A psycho-tropism that arises here--disregarding serial significance--or
mechanical, unintelligent, repulsive reflex--is that the fishes of India
did not fall from the sky; that they were found upon the ground after
torrential rains, because streams had overflowed and had then receded.

In the region of Inertness that we think we can conceive of, or a zone
that is to this earth's gravitation very much like the neutral zone of
a magnet's attraction, we accept that there are bodies of water and also
clear spaces--bottoms of ponds dropping out--very interesting ponds,
having no earth at bottom--vast drops of water afloat in what is called
space--fishes and deluges of water falling--

But also other areas, in which fishes--however they got there: a matter
that we'll consider--remain and dry, or even putrefy, then sometimes
falling by atmospheric dislodgment.

After a "tremendous deluge of rain, one of the heaviest falls on record"
(_All the Year Round_, 8-255) at Rajkote, India, July 25, 1850, "the
ground was found literally covered with fishes."

The word "found" is agreeable to the repulsions of the conventionalists
and their concept of an overflowing stream--but, according to Dr. Buist,
some of these fishes were "found" on the tops of haystacks.

Ferrel (_A Popular Treatise_, p. 414) tells of a fall of living
fishes--some of them having been placed in a tank, where they
survived--that occurred in India, about 20 miles south of Calcutta,
Sept. 20, 1839. A witness of this fall says:

"The most strange thing which ever struck me was that the fish did not
fall helter-skelter, or here and there, but they fell in a straight
line, not more than a cubit in breadth." See _Living Age_, 52-186.

_Amer. Jour. Sci._, 1-32-199:

That, according to testimony taken before a magistrate, a fall occurred,
Feb. 19, 1830, near Feridpoor, India, of many fishes, of various
sizes--some whole and fresh and others "mutilated and putrefying." Our
reflex to those who would say that, in the climate of India, it would
not take long for fishes to putrefy, is--that high in the air, the
climate of India is not torrid. Another peculiarity of this fall is that
some of the fishes were much larger than others. Or to those who hold
out for segregation in a whirlwind, or that objects, say, twice as heavy
as others would be separated from the lighter, we point out that some of
these fishes were twice as heavy as others.

In the _Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal_, 2-650, depositions of
witnesses are given:

"Some of the fish were fresh, but others were rotten and without heads."

"Among the number which I got, five were fresh and the rest stinking and

They remind us of His Grace's observation of some pages back.

According to Dr. Buist, some of these fishes weighed one and a half
pounds each and others three pounds.

A fall of fishes at Futtepoor, India, May 16, 1833:

"They were all dead and dry." (Dr. Buist, _Living Age_, 52-186.)

India is far away: about 1830 was long ago.

_Nature_, Sept. 19, 1918-46:

A correspondent writes, from the Dove Marine Laboratory, Cuttercoats,
England, that, at Hindon, a suburb of Sunderland, Aug. 24, 1918,
hundreds of small fishes, identified as sand eels, had fallen--

Again the small area: about 60 by 30 yards.

The fall occurred during a heavy rain that was accompanied by
thunder--or indications of disturbance aloft--but by no visible
lightning. The sea is close to Hindon, but if you try to think of these
fishes having described a trajectory in a whirlwind from the ocean,
consider this remarkable datum:

That, according to witnesses, the fall upon this small area occupied ten

I cannot think of a clearer indication of a direct fall from a
stationary source.


"The fish were all dead, and indeed stiff and hard, when picked up,
immediately after the occurrence."

By all of which I mean that we have only begun to pile up our data of
things that fall from a stationary source overhead: we'll have to take
up the subject from many approaches before our acceptance, which seems
quite as rigorously arrived at as ever has been a belief, can emerge
from the accursed.

I don't know how much the horse and the barn will help us to emerge:
but, if ever anything did go up from this earth's surface and stay
up--those damned things may have:

_Monthly Weather Review_, May, 1878:

In a tornado, in Wisconsin, May 23, 1878, "a barn and a horse were
carried completely away, and neither horse nor barn, nor any portion of
either have since been found."

After that, which would be a little strong were it not for a steady
improvement in our digestions that I note as we go along, there is
little of the bizarre or the unassimilable in the turtle that hovered
six months or so over a small town in Mississippi:

_Monthly Weather Review_, May, 1894:

That, May 11, 1894, at Vicksburg, Miss., fell a small piece of
alabaster; that, at Bovina, eight miles from Vicksburg, fell a gopher

They fell in a hailstorm.

This item was widely copied at the time: for instance, _Nature_, one of
the volumes of 1894, page 430, and _Jour. Roy. Met. Soc._, 20-273. As to
discussion--not a word. Or Science and its continuity with
Presbyterianism--data like this are damned at birth. The _Weather
Review_ does sprinkle, or baptize, or attempt to save, this infant--but
in all the meteorological literature that I have gone through, after
that date--not a word, except mention once or twice. The Editor of the
_Review_ says:

"An examination of the weather map shows that these hailstorms occur on
the south side of a region of cold northerly winds, and were but a small
part of a series of similar storms; apparently some special local whirls
or gusts carried heavy objects from this earth's surface up to the cloud

Of all incredibilities that we have to choose from, I give first place
to a notion of a whirlwind pouncing upon a region and scrupulously
selecting a turtle and a piece of alabaster. This time, the other
mechanical thing "there in the first place" cannot rise in response to
its stimulus: it is resisted in that these objects were coated with
ice--month of May in a southern state. If a whirlwind at all, there must
have been very limited selection: there is no record of the fall of
other objects. But there is no attempt in the _Review_ to specify a

These strangely associated things were remarkably separated.

They fell eight miles apart.

Then--as if there were real reasoning--they must have been high to fall
with such divergence, or one of them must have been carried partly
horizontally eight miles farther than the other. But either supposition
argues for power more than that of a local whirl or gust, or argues for
a great, specific disturbance, of which there is no record--for the
month of May, 1894.

Nevertheless--as if I really were reasonable--I do feel that I have to
accept that this turtle had been raised from this earth's surface,
somewhere near Vicksburg--because the gopher turtle is common in the
southern states.

Then I think of a hurricane that occurred in the state of Mississippi
weeks or months before May 11, 1894.

No--I don't look for it--and inevitably find it.

Or that things can go up so high in hurricanes that they stay up
indefinitely--but may, after a while, be shaken down by storms. Over and
over have we noted the occurrence of strange falls in storms. So then
that the turtle and the piece of alabaster may have had far different
origins--from different worlds, perhaps--have entered a region of
suspension over this earth--wafting near each other--long
duration--final precipitation by atmospheric disturbance--with hail--or
that hailstones, too, when large, are phenomena of suspension of long
duration: that it is highly unacceptable that the very large ones could
become so great only in falling from the clouds.

Over and over has the note of disagreeableness, or of putrefaction, been
struck--long duration. Other indications of long duration.

I think of a region somewhere above this earth's surface in which
gravitation is inoperative and is not governed by the square of the
distance--quite as magnetism is negligible at a very short distance from
a magnet. Theoretically the attraction of a magnet should decrease with
the square of the distance, but the falling-off is found to be almost
abrupt at a short distance.

I think that things raised from this earth's surface to that region have
been held there until shaken down by storms--

The Super-Sargasso Sea.

Derelicts, rubbish, old cargoes from inter-planetary wrecks; things cast
out into what is called space by convulsions of other planets, things
from the times of the Alexanders, Caesars and Napoleons of Mars and
Jupiter and Neptune; things raised by this earth's cyclones: horses and
barns and elephants and flies and dodoes, moas, and pterodactyls; leaves
from modern trees and leaves of the Carboniferous era--all, however,
tending to disintegrate into homogeneous-looking muds or dusts, red or
black or yellow--treasure-troves for the palaeontologists and for the
archaeologists--accumulations of centuries--cyclones of Egypt, Greece,
and Assyria--fishes dried and hard, there a short time: others there
long enough to putrefy--

But the omnipresence of Heterogeneity--or living fishes, also--ponds of
fresh water: oceans of salt water.

As to the Law of Gravitation, I prefer to take one simple stand:

Orthodoxy accepts the correlation and equivalence of forces:

Gravitation is one of these forces.

All other forces have phenomena of repulsion and of inertness
irrespective of distance, as well as of attraction.

But Newtonian Gravitation admits attraction only:

Then Newtonian Gravitation can be only one-third acceptable even to the
orthodox, or there is denial of the correlation and equivalence of

Or still simpler:

Here are the data.

Make what you will, yourself, of them.

In our Intermediatist revolt against homogeneous, or positive,
explanations, or our acceptance that the all-sufficing cannot be less
than universality, besides which, however, there would be nothing to
suffice, our expression upon the Super-Sargasso Sea, though it
harmonizes with data of fishes that fall as if from a stationary
source--and, of course, with other data, too--is inadequate to account
for two peculiarities of the falls of frogs:

That never has a fall of tadpoles been reported;

That never has a fall of full-grown frogs been reported--

Always frogs a few months old.

It sounds positive, but if there be such reports they are somewhere out
of my range of reading.

But tadpoles would be more likely to fall from the sky than would
frogs, little or big, if such falls be attributed to whirlwinds; and
more likely to fall from the Super-Sargasso Sea if, though very
tentatively and provisionally, we accept the Super-Sargasso Sea.

Before we take up an especial expression upon the fall of immature and
larval forms of life to this earth, and the necessity then of conceiving
of some factor besides mere stationariness or suspension or stagnation,
there are other data that are similar to data of falls of fishes.

_Science Gossip_, 1886-238:

That small snails, of a land species, had fallen near Redruth, Cornwall,
July 8, 1886, "during a heavy thunderstorm": roads and fields strewn
with them, so that they were gathered up by the hatful: none seen to
fall by the writer of this account: snails said to be "quite different
to any previously known in this district."

But, upon page 282, we have better orthodoxy. Another correspondent
writes that he had heard of the supposed fall of snails: that he had
supposed that all such stories had gone the way of witch stories; that,
to his astonishment, he had read an account of this absurd story in a
local newspaper of "great and deserved repute."

"I thought I should for once like to trace the origin of one of these
fabulous tales."

Our own acceptance is that justice cannot be in an intermediate
existence, in which there can be approximation only to justice or to
injustice; that to be fair is to have no opinion at all; that to be
honest is to be uninterested; that to investigate is to admit prejudice;
that nobody has ever really investigated anything, but has always sought
positively to prove or to disprove something that was conceived of, or
suspected, in advance.

"As I suspected," says this correspondent, "I found that the snails were
of a familiar land-species"--that they had been upon the ground "in the
first place."

He found that the snails had appeared after the rain: that "astonished
rustics had jumped to the conclusion that they had fallen."

He met one person who said that he had seen the snails fall.

"This was his error," says the investigator.

In the _Philosophical Magazine_, 58-310, there is an account of snails
said to have fallen at Bristol in a field of three acres, in such
quantities that they were shoveled up. It is said that the snails "may
be considered as a local species." Upon page 457, another correspondent
says that the numbers had been exaggerated, and that in his opinion they
had been upon the ground in the first place. But that there had been
some unusual condition aloft comes out in his observation upon "the
curious azure-blue appearance of the sun, at the time."

_Nature_, 47-278:

That, according to _Das Wetter_, December, 1892, upon Aug. 9, 1892, a
yellow cloud appeared over Paderborn, Germany. From this cloud, fell a
torrential rain, in which were hundreds of mussels. There is no mention
of whatever may have been upon the ground in the first place, nor of a

Lizards--said to have fallen on the sidewalks of Montreal, Canada, Dec.
28, 1857. (_Notes and Queries_, 8-6-104.)

In the _Scientific American_, 3-112, a correspondent writes, from South
Granville, N.Y., that, during a heavy shower, July 3, 1860, he heard a
peculiar sound at his feet, and looking down, saw a snake lying as if
stunned by a fall. It then came to life. Gray snake, about a foot long.

These data have any meaning or lack of meaning or degree of damnation
you please: but, in the matter of the fall that occurred at Memphis,
Tennessee, occur some strong significances. Our quasi-reasoning upon
this subject applies to all segregations so far considered.

_Monthly Weather Review_, Jan. 15, 1877:

That, in Memphis, Tenn., Jan. 15, 1877, rather strictly localized, or
"in a space of two blocks," and after a violent storm in which the rain
"fell in torrents," snakes were found. They were crawling on sidewalks,
in yards, and in streets, and in masses--but "none were found on roofs
or any other elevation above ground" and "none were seen to fall."

If you prefer to believe that the snakes had always been there, or had
been upon the ground in the first place, and that it was only that
something occurred to call special attention to them, in the streets of
Memphis, Jan. 15, 1877--why, that's sensible: that's the common sense
that has been against us from the first.

It is not said whether the snakes were of a known species or not, but
that "when first seen, they were of a dark brown, almost black."
Blacksnakes, I suppose.

If we accept that these snakes did fall, even though not seen to fall by
all the persons who were out sight-seeing in a violent storm, and had
not been in the streets crawling loose or in thick tangled masses, in
the first place:

If we try to accept that these snakes had been raised from some other
part of this earth's surface in a whirlwind:

If we try to accept that a whirlwind could segregate them--

We accept the segregation of other objects raised in that whirlwind.

Then, near the place of origin, there would have been a fall of heavier
objects that had been snatched up with the snakes--stones, fence rails,
limbs of trees. Say that the snakes occupied the next gradation, and
would be the next to fall. Still farther would there have been separate
falls of lightest objects: leaves, twigs, tufts of grass.

In the _Monthly Weather Review_ there is no mention of other falls said
to have occurred anywhere in January, 1877.

Again ours is the objection against such selectiveness by a whirlwind.
Conceivably a whirlwind could scoop out a den of hibernating snakes,
with stones and earth and an infinitude of other débris, snatching up
dozens of snakes--I don't know how many to a den--hundreds maybe--but,
according to the account of this occurrence in the _New York Times_,
there were thousands of them; alive; from one foot to eighteen inches in
length. The _Scientific American_, 36-86, records the fall, and says
that there were thousands of them. The usual whirlwind-explanation is
given--"but in what locality snakes exist in such abundance is yet a

This matter of enormousness of numbers suggests to me something of a
migratory nature--but that snakes in the United States do not migrate in
the month of January, if ever.

As to falls or flutterings of winged insects from the sky, prevailing
notions of swarming would seem explanatory enough: nevertheless, in
instances of ants, there are some peculiar circumstances.

_L'Astronomie_, 1889-353:

Fall of fishes, June 13, 1889, in Holland; ants, Aug. 1, 1889,
Strasbourg; little toads, Aug. 2, 1889, Savoy.

Fall of ants, Cambridge, England, summer of 1874--"some were wingless."
(_Scientific American_, 30-193.) Enormous fall of ants, Nancy, France,
July 21, 1887--"most of them were wingless." (_Nature_, 36-349.) Fall of
enormous, unknown ants--size of wasps--Manitoba, June, 1895. (_Sci.
Amer._, 72-385.)

However, our expression will be:

That wingless, larval forms of life, in numbers so enormous that
migration from some place external to this earth is suggested, have
fallen from the sky.

That these "migrations"--if such can be our acceptance--have occurred at
a time of hibernation and burial far in the ground of larvae in the
northern latitudes of this earth; that there is significance in
recurrence of these falls in the last of January--or that we have the
square of an incredibility in such a notion as that of selection of
larvae by whirlwinds, compounded with selection of the last of January.

I accept that there are "snow worms" upon this earth--whatever their
origin may have been. In the _Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. of Philadelphia_,
1899-125, there is a description of yellow worms and black worms that
have been found together on glaciers in Alaska. Almost positively were
there no other forms of insect-life upon these glaciers, and there was
no vegetation to support insect-life, except microscopic organisms.
Nevertheless the description of this probably polymorphic species fits a
description of larvae said to have fallen in Switzerland, and less
definitely fits another description. There is no opposition here, if our
data of falls are clear. Frogs of every-day ponds look like frogs said
to have fallen from the sky--except the whitish frogs of Birmingham.
However, all falls of larvae have not positively occurred in the last of

London _Times_, April 14, 1837:

That, in the parish of Bramford Speke, Devonshire, a large number of
black worms, about three-quarters of an inch in length, had fallen in a

In Timb's _Year Book_, 1877-26, it is said that, in the winter of 1876,
at Christiania, Norway, worms were found crawling upon the ground. The
occurrence is considered a great mystery, because the worms could not
have come up from the ground, inasmuch as the ground was frozen at the
time, and because they were reported from other places, also, in Norway.

Immense number of black insects in a snowstorm, in 1827, at Pakroff,
Russia. (_Scientific American_, 30-193.)

Fall, with snow, at Orenburg, Russia, Dec. 14, 1830, of a multitude of
small, black insects, said to have been gnats, but also said to have had
flea-like motions. (_Amer. Jour. Sci._, 1-22-375.)

Large number of worms found in a snowstorm, upon the surface of snow
about four inches thick, near Sangerfield, N.Y., Nov. 18, 1850
(_Scientific American_, 6-96). The writer thinks that the worms had been
brought to the surface of the ground by rain, which had fallen

_Scientific American_, Feb. 21, 1891:

"A puzzling phenomenon has been noted frequently in some parts of the
Valley Bend District, Randolph County, Va., this winter. The crust of
the snow has been covered two or three times with worms resembling the
ordinary cut worms. Where they come from, unless they fall with the snow
is inexplicable." In the _Scientific American_, March 7, 1891, the
Editor says that similar worms had been seen upon the snow near Utica,
N.Y., and in Oneida and Herkimer Counties; that some of the worms had
been sent to the Department of Agriculture at Washington. Again two
species, or polymorphism. According to Prof. Riley, it was not
polymorphism, "but two distinct species"--which, because of our data, we
doubt. One kind was larger than the other: color-differences not
distinctly stated. One is called the larvae of the common soldier beetle
and the other "seems to be a variety of the bronze cut worm." No attempt
to explain the occurrence in snow.

Fall of great numbers of larvae of beetles, near Mortagne, France, May,
1858. The larvae were inanimate as if with cold. (_Annales Société
Entomologique de France_, 1858.)

_Trans. Ent. Soc. of London_, 1871-183, records "snowing of larvae," in
Silesia, 1806; "appearance of many larvae on the snow," in Saxony,
1811; "larvae found alive on the snow," 1828; larvae and snow which
"fell together," in the Eifel, Jan. 30, 1847; "fall of insects," Jan.
24, 1849, in Lithuania; occurrence of larvae estimated at 300,000 on the
snow in Switzerland, in 1856. The compiler says that most of these
larvae live underground, or at the roots of trees; that whirlwinds
uproot trees, and carry away the larvae--conceiving of them as not held
in masses of frozen earth--all as neatly detachable as currants in
something. In the _Revue et Magasin de Zoologie_, 1849-72, there is an
account of the fall in Lithuania, Jan. 24, 1849--that black larvae had
fallen in enormous numbers.

Larvae thought to have been of beetles, but described as "caterpillars,"
not seen to fall, but found crawling on the snow, after a snowstorm, at
Warsaw, Jan. 20, 1850. (_All the Year Round_, 8-253.)

Flammarion (_The Atmosphere_, p. 414) tells of a fall of larvae that
occurred Jan. 30, 1869, in a snowstorm, in Upper Savoy: "They could not
have been hatched in the neighborhood, for, during the days preceding,
the temperature had been very low"; said to have been of a species
common in the south of France. In _La Science Pour Tous_, 14-183, it is
said that with these larvae there were developed insects.

_L'Astronomie_, 1890-313:

That, upon the last of January, 1890, there fell, in a great tempest, in
Switzerland, incalculable numbers of larvae: some black and some yellow;
numbers so great that hosts of birds were attracted.

Altogether we regard this as one of our neatest expressions for external
origins and against the whirlwind explanation. If an exclusionist says
that, in January, larvae were precisely and painstakingly picked out of
frozen ground, in incalculable numbers, he thinks of a tremendous
force--disregarding its refinements: then if origin and precipitation be
not far apart, what becomes of an infinitude of other débris, conceiving
of no time for segregation?

If he thinks of a long translation--all the way from the south of France
to Upper Savoy, he may think then of a very fine sorting over by
differences of specific gravity--but in such a fine selection, larvae
would be separated from developed insects.

As to differences in specific gravity--the yellow larvae that fell in
Switzerland January, 1890, were three times the size of the black larvae
that fell with them. In accounts of this occurrence, there is no denial
of the fall.

Or that a whirlwind never brought them together and held them together
and precipitated them and only them together--

That they came from Genesistrine.

There's no escape from it. We'll be persecuted for it. Take it or leave


The notion is that there is somewhere aloft a place of origin of life
relatively to this earth. Whether it's the planet Genesistrine, or the
moon, or a vast amorphous region super-jacent to this earth, or an
island in the Super-Sargasso Sea, should perhaps be left to the
researches of other super--or extra--geographers. That the first
unicellular organisms may have come here from Genesistrine--or that men
or anthropomorphic beings may have come here before amoebae: that, upon
Genesistrine, there may have been an evolution expressible in
conventional biologic terms, but that evolution upon this earth has
been--like evolution in modern Japan--induced by external influences;
that evolution, as a whole, upon this earth, has been a process of
population by immigration or by bombardment. Some notes I have upon
remains of men and animals encysted, or covered with clay or stone, as
if fired here as projectiles, I omit now, because it seems best to
regard the whole phenomenon as a tropism--as a geotropism--probably
atavistic, or vestigial, as it were, or something still continuing long
after expiration of necessity; that, once upon a time, all kinds of
things came here from Genesistrine, but that now only a few kinds of
bugs and things, at long intervals, feel the inspiration.

Not one instance have we of tadpoles that have fallen to this earth. It
seems reasonable that a whirlwind could scoop up a pond, frogs and all,
and cast down the frogs somewhere else: but, then, more reasonable that
a whirlwind could scoop up a pond, tadpoles and all--because tadpoles
are more numerous in their season than are the frogs in theirs: but the
tadpole-season is earlier in the spring, or in a time that is more
tempestuous. Thinking in terms of causation--as if there were real
causes--our notion is that, if X is likely to cause Y, but is more
likely to cause Z, but does not cause Z, X is not the cause of Y. Upon
this quasi-sorites, we base our acceptance that the little frogs that
have fallen to this earth are not products of whirlwinds: that they came
from externality, or from Genesistrine.

I think of Genesistrine in terms of biologic mechanics: not that
somewhere there are persons who collect bugs in or about the last of
January and frogs in July and August, and bombard this earth, any more
than do persons go through northern regions, catching and collecting
birds, every autumn, then casting them southward.

But atavistic, or vestigial, geotropism in Genesistrine--or a million
larvae start crawling, and a million little frogs start hopping--knowing
no more what it's all about than we do when we crawl to work in the
morning and hop away at night.

I should say, myself, that Genesistrine is a region in the
Super-Sargasso Sea, and that parts of the Super-Sargasso Sea have
rhythms of susceptibility to this earth's attraction.


I accept that, when there are storms, the damnedest of excluded,
excommunicated things--things that are leprous to the faithful--are
brought down--from the Super-Sargasso Sea--or from what for convenience
we call the Super-Sargasso Sea--which by no means has been taken into
full acceptance yet.

That things are brought down by storms, just as, from the depths of the
sea things are brought up by storms. To be sure it is orthodoxy that
storms have little, if any, effect below the waves of the ocean--but--of
course--only to have an opinion is to be ignorant of, or to disregard a
contradiction, or something else that modifies an opinion out of

_Symons' Meteorological Magazine_, 47-180:

That, along the coast of New Zealand, in regions not subject to
submarine volcanic action, deep-sea fishes are often brought up by

Iron and stones that fall from the sky; and atmospheric disturbances:

"There is absolutely no connection between the two phenomena."

The orthodox belief is that objects moving at planetary velocity would,
upon entering this earth's atmosphere, be virtually unaffected by
hurricanes; might as well think of a bullet swerved by someone fanning
himself. The only trouble with the orthodox reasoning is the usual
trouble--its phantom-dominant--its basing upon a myth--data we've had,
and more we'll have, of things in the sky having no independent

There are so many storms and so many meteors and meteorites that it
would be extraordinary if there were no concurrences. Nevertheless so
many of these concurrences are listed by Prof. Baden-Powell (_Rept.
Brit. Assoc._, 1850-54) that one--notices.

See _Rept. Brit. Assoc._, 1860--other instances.

The famous fall of stones at Siena, Italy, 1794--"in a violent storm."

See _Greg's Catalogues_--many instances. One that stands out is--"bright
ball of fire and light in a hurricane in England, Sept. 2, 1786." The
remarkable datum here is that this phenomenon was visible forty minutes.
That's about 800 times the duration that the orthodox give to meteors
and meteorites.

See the _Annual Register_--many instances.

In _Nature_, Oct. 25, 1877, and the London _Times_, Oct. 15, 1877,
something that fell in a gale of Oct. 14, 1877, is described as a "huge
ball of green fire." This phenomenon is described by another
correspondent, in _Nature_, 17-10, and an account of it by another
correspondent was forwarded to _Nature_ by W.F. Denning.

There are so many instances that some of us will revolt against the
insistence of the faithful that it is only coincidence, and accept that
there is connection of the kind called causal. If it is too difficult to
think of stones and metallic masses swerved from their courses by
storms, if they move at high velocity, we think of low velocity, or of
things having no velocity at all, hovering a few miles above this earth,
dislodged by storms, and falling luminously.

But the resistance is so great here, and "coincidence" so insisted upon
that we'd better have some more instances:

Aerolite in a storm at St. Leonards-on-sea, England, Sept. 17, 1885--no
trace of it found (_Annual Register_, 1885); meteorite in a gale, March
1, 1886, described in the _Monthly Weather Review_, March, 1886;
meteorite in a thunderstorm, off coast of Greece, Nov. 19, 1899
(_Nature_, 61-111); fall of a meteorite in a storm, July 7, 1883, near
Lachine, Quebec (_Monthly Weather Review_, July, 1883); same phenomenon
noted in _Nature_, 28-319; meteorite in a whirlwind, Sweden, Sept. 24,
1883 (_Nature_, 29-15).

_London Roy. Soc. Proc._, 6-276:

A triangular cloud that appeared in a storm, Dec. 17, 1852; a red
nucleus, about half the apparent diameter of the moon, and a long tail;
visible 13 minutes; explosion of the nucleus.

Nevertheless, in _Science Gossip_, n.s., 6-65, it is said that, though
meteorites have fallen in storms, no connection is supposed to exist
between the two phenomena, except by the ignorant peasantry.

But some of us peasants have gone through the _Report of the British
Association_, 1852. Upon page 239, Dr. Buist, who had never heard of the
Super-Sargasso Sea, says that, though it is difficult to trace
connection between the phenomena, three aerolites had fallen in five
months, in India, during thunderstorms, in 1851 (may have been 1852).
For accounts by witnesses, see page 229 of the _Report_.

Or--we are on our way to account for "thunderstones."

It seems to me that, very strikingly here, is borne out the general
acceptance that ours is only an intermediate existence, in which there
is nothing fundamental, or nothing final to take as a positive standard
to judge by.

Peasants believed in meteorites.

Scientists excluded meteorites.

Peasants believe in "thunderstones."

Scientists exclude "thunderstones."

It is useless to argue that peasants are out in the fields, and that
scientists are shut up in laboratories and lecture rooms. We cannot take
for a real base that, as to phenomena with which they are more
familiar, peasants are more likely to be right than are scientists: a
host of biologic and meteorologic fallacies of peasants rises against

I should say that our "existence" is like a bridge--except that that
comparison is in static terms--but like the Brooklyn Bridge, upon which
multitudes of bugs are seeking a fundamental--coming to a girder that
seems firm and final--but the girder is built upon supports. A support
then seems final. But it is built upon underlying structures. Nothing
final can be found in all the bridge, because the bridge itself is not a
final thing in itself, but is a relationship between Manhattan and
Brooklyn. If our "existence" is a relationship between the Positive
Absolute and the Negative Absolute, the quest for finality in it is
hopeless: everything in it must be relative, if the "whole" is not a
whole, but is, itself, a relation.

In the attitude of Acceptance, our pseudo-base is:

Cells of an embryo are in the reptilian era of the embryo;

Some cells feel stimuli to take on new appearances.

If it be of the design of the whole that the next era be mammalian,
those cells that turn mammalian will be sustained against resistance, by
inertia, of all the rest, and will be relatively right, though not
finally right, because they, too, in time will have to give way to
characters of other eras of higher development.

If we are upon the verge of a new era, in which Exclusionism must be
overthrown, it will avail thee not to call us base-born and frowsy

In our crude, bucolic way, we now offer an outrage upon common sense
that we think will some day be an unquestioned commonplace:

That manufactured objects of stone and iron have fallen from the sky:

That they have been brought down from a state of suspension, in a region
of inertness to this earth's attraction, by atmospheric disturbances.

The "thunderstone" is usually "a beautifully polished, wedge-shaped
piece of greenstone," says a writer in the _Cornhill Magazine_, 50-517.
It isn't: it's likely to be of almost any kind of stone, but we call
attention to the skill with which some of them have been made. Of
course this writer says it's all superstition. Otherwise he'd be one of
us crude and simple sons of the soil.

Conventional damnation is that stone implements, already on the
ground--"on the ground in the first place"--are found near where
lightning was seen to strike: that are supposed by astonished rustics,
or by intelligence of a low order, to have fallen in or with lightning.

Throughout this book, we class a great deal of science with bad fiction.
When is fiction bad, cheap, low? If coincidence is overworked. That's
one way of deciding. But with single writers coincidence seldom is
overworked: we find the excess in the subject at large. Such a writer as
the one of the _Cornhill Magazine_ tells us vaguely of beliefs of
peasants: there is no massing of instance after instance after instance.
Here ours will be the method of mass-formation.

Conceivably lightning may strike the ground near where there was a
wedge-shaped object in the first place: again and again and again:
lightning striking ground near wedge-shaped object in China; lightning
striking ground near wedge-shaped object in Scotland; lightning striking
ground near wedge-shaped object in Central Africa: coincidence in
France; coincidence in Java; coincidence in South America--

We grant a great deal but note a tendency to restlessness. Nevertheless
this is the psycho-tropism of science to all "thunderstones" said to
have fallen luminously.

As to greenstone, it is in the island of Jamaica, where the notion is
general that axes of a hard greenstone fall from the sky--"during the
rains." (_Jour. Inst. Jamaica_, 2-4.) Some other time we shall inquire
into this localization of objects of a specific material. "They are of a
stone nowhere else to be found in Jamaica." (_Notes and Queries_,

In my own tendency to exclude, or in the attitude of one peasant or
savage who thinks he is not to be classed with other peasants or
savages, I am not very much impressed with what natives think. It would
be hard to tell why. If the word of a Lord Kelvin carries no more
weight, upon scientific subjects, than the word of a Sitting Bull,
unless it be in agreement with conventional opinion--I think it must be
because savages have bad table manners. However, my snobbishness, in
this respect, loosens up somewhat before very widespread belief by
savages and peasants. And the notion of "thunderstones" is as wide as
geography itself.

The natives of Burma, China, Japan, according to Blinkenberg (_Thunder
Weapons_, p. 100)--not, of course, that Blinkenberg accepts one word of
it--think that carved stone objects have fallen from the sky, because
they think they have seen such objects fall from the sky. Such objects
are called "thunderbolts" in these countries. They are called
"thunderstones" in Moravia, Holland, Belgium, France, Cambodia, Sumatra,
and Siberia. They're called "storm stones" in Lausitz; "sky arrows" in
Slavonia; "thunder axes" in England and Scotland; "lightning stones" in
Spain and Portugal; "sky axes" in Greece; "lightning flashes" in Brazil;
"thunder teeth" in Amboina.

The belief is as widespread as is belief in ghosts and witches, which
only the superstitious deny today.

As to beliefs by North American Indians, Tyler gives a list of
references (_Primitive Culture_, 2-237). As to South American
Indians--"Certain stone hatchets are said to have fallen from the
heavens." (_Jour. Amer. Folk Lore_, 17-203.)

If you, too, revolt against coincidence after coincidence after
coincidence, but find our interpretation of "thunderstones" just a
little too strong or rich for digestion, we recommend the explanation of
one, Tallius, written in 1649:

"The naturalists say they are generated in the sky by fulgurous
exhalation conglobed in a cloud by the circumfused humor."

Of course the paper in the _Cornhill Magazine_ was written with no
intention of trying really to investigate this subject, but to deride
the notion that worked-stone objects have ever fallen from the sky. A
writer in the _Amer. Jour. Sci._, 1-21-325, read this paper and thinks
it remarkable "that any man of ordinary reasoning powers should write a
paper to prove that thunderbolts do not exist."

I confess that we're a little flattered by that.

Over and over:

"It is scarcely necessary to suggest to the intelligent reader that
thunderstones are a myth."

We contend that there is a misuse of a word here: we admit that only we
are intelligent upon this subject, if by intelligence is meant the
inquiry of inequilibrium, and that all other intellection is only
mechanical reflex--of course that intelligence, too, is mechanical, but
less orderly and confined: less obviously mechanical--that as an
acceptance of ours becomes firmer and firmer-established, we pass from
the state of intelligence to reflexes in ruts. An odd thing is that
intelligence is usually supposed to be creditable. It may be in the
sense that it is mental activity trying to find out, but it is
confession of ignorance. The bees, the theologians, the dogmatic
scientists are the intellectual aristocrats. The rest of us are
plebeians, not yet graduated to Nirvana, or to the instinctive and suave
as differentiated from the intelligent and crude.

Blinkenberg gives many instances of the superstition of "thunderstones"
which flourishes only where mentality is in a lamentable state--or
universally. In Malacca, Sumatra, and Java, natives say that stone axes
have often been found under trees that have been struck by lightning.
Blinkenberg does not dispute this, but says it is coincidence: that the
axes were of course upon the ground in the first place: that the natives
jumped to the conclusion that these carved stones had fallen in or with
lightning. In Central Africa, it is said that often have wedge-shaped,
highly polished objects of stone, described as "axes," been found
sticking in trees that have been struck by lightning--or by what seemed
to be lightning. The natives, rather like the unscientific persons of
Memphis, Tenn., when they saw snakes after a storm, jumped to the
conclusion that the "axes" had not always been sticking in the trees.
Livingstone (_Last Journal_, pages 83, 89, 442, 448) says that he had
never heard of stone implements used by natives of Africa. A writer in
the _Report of the Smithsonian Institution_, 1877-308, says that there
are a few.

That they are said, by the natives, to have fallen in thunderstorms.

As to luminosity, it is my lamentable acceptance that bodies falling
through this earth's atmosphere, if not warmed even, often fall with a
brilliant light, looking like flashes of lightning. This matter seems
important: we'll take it up later, with data. In Prussia, two stone
axes were found in the trunks of trees, one under the bark.
(Blinkenberg, _Thunder Weapons_, p. 100.)

The finders jumped to the conclusion that the axes had fallen there.

Another stone ax--or wedge-shaped object of worked stone--said to have
been found in a tree that had been struck by something that looked like
lightning. (_Thunder Weapons_, p. 71.)

The finder jumped to the conclusion.

Story told by Blinkenberg, of a woman, who lived near Kulsbjaergene,
Sweden, who found a flint near an old willow--"near her house." I
emphasize "near her house" because that means familiar ground. The
willow had been split by something.

She jumped.

Cow killed by lightning, or by what looked like lightning (Isle of Sark,
near Guernsey). The peasant who owned the cow dug up the ground at the
spot and found a small greenstone "ax." Blinkenberg says that he jumped
to the conclusion that it was this object that had fallen luminously,
killing the cow.

_Reliquary_, 1867-208:

A flint ax found by a farmer, after a severe storm--described as a
"fearful storm"--by a signal staff, which had been split by something. I
should say that nearness to a signal staff may be considered familiar

Whether he jumped, or arrived at the conclusion by a more leisurely
process, the farmer thought that the flint object had fallen in the

In this instance we have a lamentable scientist with us. It's impossible
to have positive difference between orthodoxy and heresy: somewhere
there must be a merging into each other, or an overlapping.
Nevertheless, upon such a subject as this, it does seem a little
shocking. In most works upon meteorites, the peculiar, sulphurous odor
of things that fall from the sky is mentioned. Sir John Evans (_Stone
Implements_, p. 57) says--with extraordinary reasoning powers, if he
could never have thought such a thing with ordinary reasoning
powers--that this flint object "proved to have been the bolt, by its
peculiar smell when broken."

If it did so prove to be, that settles the whole subject. If we prove
that only one object of worked stone has fallen from the sky, all piling
up of further reports is unnecessary. However, we have already taken the
stand that nothing settles anything; that the disputes of ancient Greece
are no nearer solution now than they were several thousand years
ago--all because, in a positive sense, there is nothing to prove or
solve or settle. Our object is to be more nearly real than our
opponents. Wideness is an aspect of the Universal. We go on widely.
According to us the fat man is nearer godliness than is the thin man.
Eat, drink, and approximate to the Positive Absolute. Beware of
negativeness, by which we mean indigestion.

The vast majority of "thunderstones" are described as "axes," but
Meunier (_La Nature_, 1892-2-381) tells of one that was in his
possession; said to have fallen at Ghardia, Algeria, contrasting
"profoundment" (pear-shaped) with the angular outlines of ordinary
meteorites. The conventional explanation that it had been formed as a
drop of molten matter from a larger body seems reasonable to me; but
with less agreeableness I note its fall in a thunderstorm, the datum
that turns the orthodox meteorologist pale with rage, or induces a
slight elevation of his eyebrows, if you mention it to him.

Meunier tells of another "thunderstone" said to have fallen in North
Africa. Meunier, too, is a little lamentable here: he quotes a soldier
of experience that such objects fall most frequently in the deserts of

Rather miscellaneous now:

"Thunderstone" said to have fallen in London, April, 1876: weight about
8 pounds: no particulars as to shape (Timb's _Year Book_, 1877-246).

"Thunderstone" said to have fallen at Cardiff, Sept. 26, 1916 (London
_Times_, Sept. 28, 1916). According to _Nature_, 98-95, it was
coincidence; only a lightning flash had been seen.

Stone that fell in a storm, near St. Albans, England: accepted by the
Museum of St. Albans; said, at the British Museum, not to be of "true
meteoritic material." (_Nature_, 80-34.)

London _Times_, April 26, 1876:

That, April 20, 1876, near Wolverhampton, fell a mass of meteoritic iron
during a heavy fall of rain. An account of this phenomenon in _Nature_,
14-272, by H.S. Maskelyne, who accepts it as authentic. Also, see
_Nature_, 13-531.

For three other instances, see the _Scientific American_, 47-194; 52-83;

As to wedge-shape larger than could very well be called an "ax":

_Nature_, 30-300:

That, May 27, 1884, at Tysnas, Norway, a meteorite had fallen: that the
turf was torn up at the spot where the object had been supposed to have
fallen; that two days later "a very peculiar stone" was found near by.
The description is--"in shape and size very like the fourth part of a
large Stilton cheese."

It is our acceptance that many objects and different substances have
been brought down by atmospheric disturbance from what--only as a matter
of convenience now, and until we have more data--we call the
Super-Sargasso Sea; however, our chief interest is in objects that have
been shaped by means similar to human handicraft.

Description of the "thunderstones" of Burma (_Proc. Asiatic Soc. of
Bengal_, 1869-183): said to be of a kind of stone unlike any other found
in Burma; called "thunderbolts" by the natives. I think there's a good
deal of meaning in such expressions as "unlike any other found in
Burma"--but that if they had said anything more definite, there would
have been unpleasant consequences to writers in the 19th century.

More about the "thunderstones" of Burma, in the _Proc. Soc. Antiq. of
London_, 2-3-97. One of them, described as an "adze," was exhibited by
Captain Duff, who wrote that there was no stone like it in its

Of course it may not be very convincing to say that because a stone is
unlike neighboring stones it had foreign origin--also we fear it is a
kind of plagiarism: we got it from the geologists, who demonstrate by
this reasoning the foreign origin of erratics. We fear we're a little
gross and scientific at times.

But it's my acceptance that a great deal of scientific literature must
be read between the lines. It's not everyone who has the lamentableness
of a Sir John Evans. Just as a great deal of Voltaire's meaning was
inter-linear, we suspect that a Captain Duff merely hints rather than
to risk having a Prof. Lawrence Smith fly at him and call him "a
half-insane man." Whatever Captain Duff's meaning may have been, and
whether he smiled like a Voltaire when he wrote it, Captain Duff writes
of "the extremely soft nature of the stone, rendering it equally useless
as an offensive or defensive weapon."

Story, by a correspondent, in _Nature_, 34-53, of a Malay, of
"considerable social standing"--and one thing about our data is that,
damned though they be, they do so often bring us into awful good
company--who knew of a tree that had been struck, about a month before,
by something in a thunderstorm. He searched among the roots of this tree
and found a "thunderstone." Not said whether he jumped or leaped to the
conclusion that it had fallen: process likely to be more leisurely in
tropical countries. Also I'm afraid his way of reasoning was not very
original: just so were fragments of the Bath-furnace meteorite, accepted
by orthodoxy, discovered.

We shall now have an unusual experience. We shall read of some reports
of extraordinary circumstances that were investigated by a man of
science--not of course that they were really investigated by him, but
that his phenomena occupied a position approximating higher to real
investigation than to utter neglect. Over and over we read of
extraordinary occurrences--no discussion; not even a comment afterward
findable; mere mention occasionally--burial and damnation.

The extraordinary and how quickly it is hidden away.

Burial and damnation, or the obscurity of the conspicuous.

We did read of a man who, in the matter of snails, did travel some
distance to assure himself of something that he had suspected in
advance; and we remember Prof. Hitchcock, who had only to smite Amherst
with the wand of his botanical knowledge, and lo! two fungi sprang up
before night; and we did read of Dr. Gray and his thousands of fishes
from one pailful of water--but these instances stand out; more
frequently there was no "investigation." We now have a good many
reported occurrences that were "investigated." Of things said to have
fallen from the sky, we make, in the usual scientific way, two
divisions: miscellaneous objects and substances, and symmetric objects
attributable to beings like human beings, sub-dividing into--wedges,
spheres, and disks.

_Jour. Roy. Met. Soc._, 14-207:

That, July 2, 1866, a correspondent to a London newspaper wrote that
something had fallen from the sky, during a thunderstorm of June 30,
1866, at Netting Hill. Mr. G.T. Symons, of _Symons' Meteorological
Magazine_, investigated, about as fairly, and with about as unprejudiced
a mind, as anything ever has been investigated.

He says that the object was nothing but a lump of coal: that next door
to the home of the correspondent coal had been unloaded the day before.
With the uncanny wisdom of the stranger upon unfamiliar ground that we
have noted before, Mr. Symons saw that the coal reported to have fallen
from the sky, and the coal unloaded more prosaically the day before,
were identical. Persons in the neighborhood, unable to make this simple
identification, had bought from the correspondent pieces of the object
reported to have fallen from the sky. As to credulity, I know of no
limits for it--but when it comes to paying out money for credulity--oh,
no standards to judge by, of course--just the same--

The trouble with efficiency is that it will merge away into excess. With
what seems to me to be super-abundance of convincingness, Mr. Symons
then lugs another character into his little comedy:

That it was all a hoax by a chemist's pupil, who had filled a capsule
with an explosive, and "during the storm had thrown the burning mass
into the gutter, so making an artificial thunderbolt."

Or even Shakespeare, with all his inartistry, did not lug in King Lear
to make Hamlet complete.

Whether I'm lugging in something that has no special meaning, myself, or
not, I find that this storm of June 30, 1866, was peculiar. It is
described in the London _Times_, July 2, 1866: that "during the storm,
the sky in many places remained partially clear while hail and rain were
falling." That may have more meaning when we take up the possible
extra-mundane origin of some hailstones, especially if they fall from a
cloudless sky. Mere suggestion, not worth much, that there may have been
falls of extra-mundane substances, in London, June 30, 1866.

Clinkers, said to have fallen, during a storm, at Kilburn, July 5, 1877:

According to the _Kilburn Times_, July 7, 1877, quoted by Mr. Symons, a
street had been "literally strewn," during the storm, with a mass of
clinkers, estimated at about two bushels: sizes from that of a walnut to
that of a man's hand--"pieces of the clinkers can be seen at the
_Kilburn Times_ office."

If these clinkers, or cinders, were refuse from one of the
super-mercantile constructions from which coke and coal and ashes
occasionally fall to this earth, or, rather, to the Super-Sargasso Sea,
from which dislodgment by tempests occurs, it is intermediatistic to
accept that they must merge away somewhere with local phenomena of the
scene of precipitation. If a red-hot stove should drop from a cloud into
Broadway, someone would find that at about the time of the occurrence, a
moving van had passed, and that the moving men had tired of the stove,
or something--that it had not been really red-hot, but had been rouged
instead of blacked, by some absent-minded housekeeper. Compared with
some of the scientific explanations that we have encountered, there's
considerable restraint, I think, in that one.

Mr. Symons learned that in the same street--he emphasizes that it was a
short street--there was a fire-engine station. I had such an impression
of him hustling and bustling around at Notting Hill, searching cellars
until he found one with newly arrived coal in it; ringing door bells,
exciting a whole neighborhood, calling up to second-story windows,
stopping people in the streets, hotter and hotter on the trail of a
wretched imposter of a chemist's pupil. After his efficiency at Notting
Hill, we'd expect to hear that he went to the station, and--something
like this:

"It is said that clinkers fell, in your street, at about ten minutes
past four o'clock, afternoon of July fifth. Will you look over your
records and tell me where your engine was at about ten minutes past
four, July fifth?"

Mr. Symons says:

"I think that most probably they had been raked out of the steam

June 20, 1880, it was reported that a "thunderstone" had struck the
house at 180 Oakley Street, Chelsea, falling down the chimney, into the
kitchen grate.

Mr. Symons investigated.

He describes the "thunderstone" as an "agglomeration of brick, soot,
unburned coal, and cinder."

He says that, in his opinion, lightning had flashed down the chimney,
and had fused some of the brick of it.

He does think it remarkable that the lightning did not then scatter the
contents of the grate, which were disturbed only as if a heavy body had
fallen. If we admit that climbing up the chimney to find out is too
rigorous a requirement for a man who may have been large, dignified and
subject to expansions, the only unreasonableness we find in what he
says--as judged by our more modern outlook, is:

"I suppose that no one would suggest that bricks are manufactured in the

Sounds a little unreasonable to us, because it is so of the positivistic
spirit of former times, when it was not so obvious that the highest
incredibility and laughability must merge away with the "proper"--as the
_Sci. Am. Sup._ would say. The preposterous is always interpretable in
terms of the "proper," with which it must be continuous--or--clay-like
masses such as have fallen from the sky--tremendous heat generated by
their velocity--they bake--bricks.

We begin to suspect that Mr. Symons exhausted himself at Notting Hill.
It's a warning to efficiency-fanatics.

Then the instance of three lumps of earthy matter, found upon a
well-frequented path, after a thunderstorm, at Reading, July 3, 1883.
There are so many records of the fall of earthy matter from the sky that
it would seem almost uncanny to find resistance here, were we not so
accustomed to the uncompromising stands of orthodoxy--which, in our
metaphysics, represent good, as attempts, but evil in their
insufficiency. If I thought it necessary, I'd list one hundred and fifty
instances of earthy matter said to have fallen from the sky. It is his
antagonism to atmospheric disturbance associated with the fall of things
from the sky that blinds and hypnotizes a Mr. Symons here. This especial
Mr. Symons rejects the Reading substance because it was not "of true
meteoritic material." It's uncanny--or it's not uncanny at all, but
universal--if you don't take something for a standard of opinion, you
can't have any opinion at all: but, if you do take a standard, in some
of its applications it must be preposterous. The carbonaceous
meteorites, which are unquestioned--though avoided, as we have seen--by
orthodoxy, are more glaringly of untrue meteoritic material than was
this substance of Reading. Mr. Symons says that these three lumps were
upon the ground "in the first place."

Whether these data are worth preserving or not, I think that the appeal
that this especial Mr. Symons makes is worthy of a place in the museum
we're writing. He argues against belief in all external origins "for our
credit as Englishmen." He is a patriot, but I think that these
foreigners had a small chance "in the first place" for hospitality from

Then comes a "small lump of iron (two inches in diameter)" said to have
fallen, during a thunderstorm, at Brixton, Aug. 17, 1887. Mr. Symons
says: "At present I cannot trace it."

He was at his best at Notting Hill: there's been a marked falling off in
his later manner:

In the London _Times_, Feb. 1, 1888, it is said that a roundish object
of iron had been found, "after a violent thunderstorm," in a garden at
Brixton, Aug. 17, 1887. It was analyzed by a chemist, who could not
identify it as true meteoritic material. Whether a product of
workmanship like human workmanship or not, this object is described as
an oblate spheroid, about two inches across its major diameter. The
chemist's name and address are given: Mr. J. James Morgan: Ebbw Vale.

Garden--familiar ground--I suppose that in Mr. Symons' opinion this
symmetric object had been upon the ground "in the first place," though
he neglects to say this. But we do note that he described this object as
a "lump," which does not suggest the spheroidal or symmetric. It is our
notion that the word "lump" was, because of its meaning of
amorphousness, used purposely to have the next datum stand alone,
remote, without similars. If Mr. Symons had said that there had been a
report of another round object that had fallen from the sky, his readers
would be attracted by an agreement. He distracts his readers by
describing in terms of the unprecedented--

"Iron cannon ball."

It was found in a manure heap, in Sussex, after a thunderstorm.

However, Mr. Symons argues pretty reasonably, it seems to me, that,
given a cannon ball in a manure heap, in the first place, lightning
might be attracted by it, and, if seen to strike there, the untutored
mind, or mentality below the average, would leap or jump, or proceed
with less celerity, to the conclusion that the iron object had fallen.

Except that--if every farmer isn't upon very familiar ground--or if
every farmer doesn't know his own manure heap as well as Mr. Symons knew
his writing desk--

Then comes the instance of a man, his wife, and his three daughters, at
Casterton, Westmoreland, who were looking out at their lawn, during a
thunderstorm, when they "considered," as Mr. Symons expresses it, that
they saw a stone fall from the sky, kill a sheep, and bury itself in the

They dug.

They found a stone ball.


Coincidence. It had been there in the first place.

This object was exhibited at a meeting of the Royal Meteorological
Society by Mr. C. Carus-Wilson. It is described in the _Journal's_ list
of exhibits as a "sandstone" ball. It is described as "sandstone" by Mr.

Now a round piece of sandstone may be almost anywhere in the ground--in
the first place--but, by our more or less discreditable habit of prying
and snooping, we find that this object was rather more complex and of
material less commonplace. In snooping through _Knowledge_, Oct. 9,
1885, we read that this "thunderstone" was in the possession of Mr. C.
Carus-Wilson, who tells the story of the witness and his family--the
sheep killed, the burial of something in the earth, the digging, and the
finding. Mr. C. Carus-Wilson describes the object as a ball of hard,
ferruginous quartzite, about the size of a cocoanut, weight about twelve
pounds. Whether we're feeling around for significance or not, there is a
suggestion not only of symmetry but of structure in this object: it had
an external shell, separated from a loose nucleus. Mr. Carus-Wilson
attributes this cleavage to unequal cooling of the mass.

My own notion is that there is very little deliberate misrepresentation
in the writings of scientific men: that they are quite as guiltless in
intent as are other hypnotic subjects. Such a victim of induced belief
reads of a stone ball said to have fallen from the sky. Mechanically in
his mind arise impressions of globular lumps, or nodules, of sandstone,
which are common almost everywhere. He assimilates the reported fall
with his impressions of objects in the ground, in the first place. To an
intermediatist, the phenomena of intellection are only phenomena of
universal process localized in human minds. The process called
"explanation" is only a local aspect of universal assimilation. It looks
like materialism: but the intermediatist holds that interpretation of
the immaterial, as it is called, in terms of the material, as it is
called, is no more rational than interpretation of the "material" in
terms of the "immaterial": that there is in quasi-existence neither the
material nor the immaterial, but approximations one way or the other.
But so hypnotic quasi-reasons: that globular lumps of sandstone are
common. Whether he jumps or leaps, or whether only the frowsy and
base-born are so athletic, his is the impression, by assimilation, that
this especial object is a ball of sandstone. Or human mentality: its
inhabitants are conveniences. It may be that Mr. Symons' paper was
written before this object was exhibited to the members of the Society,
and with the charity with which, for the sake of diversity, we
intersperse our malices, we are willing to accept that he "investigated"
something that he had never seen. But whoever listed this object was
uncareful: it is listed as "sandstone."

We're making excuses for them.

Really--as it were--you know, we're not quite so damned as we were.

One does not apologize for the gods and at the same time feel quite
utterly prostrate before them.

If this were a real existence, and all of us real persons, with real
standards to judge by, I'm afraid we'd have to be a little severe with
some of these Mr. Symonses. As it is, of course, seriousness seems out
of place.

We note an amusing little touch in the indefinite allusion to "a man,"
who with his un-named family, had "considered" that he had seen a stone
fall. The "man" was the Rev. W. Carus-Wilson, who was well-known in his

The next instance was reported by W.B. Tripp, F.R.M.S.--that, during a
thunderstorm, a farmer had seen the ground in front of him plowed up by
something that was luminous.


Bronze ax.

My own notion is that an expedition to the North Pole could not be so
urgent as that representative scientists should have gone to that farmer
and there spent a summer studying this one reported occurrence. As it
is--un-named farmer--somewhere--no date. The thing must stay damned.

Another specimen for our museum is a comment in _Nature_ upon these
objects: that they are "of an amusing character, thus clearly showing
that they were of terrestrial, and not a celestial, character." Just why
celestiality, or that of it which, too, is only of Intermediateness
should not be quite as amusing as terrestriality is beyond our reasoning
powers, which we have agreed are not ordinary. Of course there is
nothing amusing about wedges and spheres at all--or Archimedes and
Euclid are humorists. It is that they were described derisively. If
you'd like a little specimen of the standardization of orthodox

_Amer. Met. Jour._, 4-589:

"They are of an amusing character, thus clearly showing that they were
of a terrestrial and not a celestial character."

I'm sure--not positively, of course--that we've tried to be as easygoing
and lenient with Mr. Symons as his obviously scientific performance
would permit. Of course it may be that sub-consciously we were
prejudiced against him, instinctively classing him with St. Augustine,
Darwin, St. Jerome, and Lyell. As to the "thunderstones," I think that
he investigated them mostly "for the credit of Englishmen," or in the
spirit of the Royal Krakatoa Committee, or about as the commission from
the French Academy investigated meteorites. According to a writer in
_Knowledge_, 5-418, the Krakatoa Committee attempted not in the least to
prove what had caused the atmospheric effects of 1883, but to
prove--that Krakatoa did it.

Altogether I should think that the following quotation should be
enlightening to anyone who still thinks that these occurrences were
investigated not to support an opinion formed in advance:

In opening his paper, Mr. Symons says that he undertook his
investigation as to the existence of "thunderstones," or "thunderbolts"
as he calls them--"feeling certain that there was a weak point
somewhere, inasmuch as 'thunderbolts' have no existence."

We have another instance of the reported fall of a "cannon ball." It
occurred prior to Mr. Symons' investigations, but is not mentioned by
him. It was investigated, however. In the _Proc. Roy. Soc. Edin._,
3-147, is the report of a "thunderstone," "supposed to have fallen in
Hampshire, Sept., 1852." It was an iron cannon ball, or it was a "large
nodule of iron pyrites or bisulphuret of iron." No one had seen it fall.
It had been noticed, upon a garden path, for the first time, after a
thunderstorm. It was only a "supposed" thing, because--"It had not the
character of any known meteorite."

In the London _Times_, Sept. 16, 1852, appears a letter from Mr. George
E. Bailey, a chemist of Andover, Hants. He says that, in a very heavy
thunderstorm, of the first week of September, 1852, this iron object,
had fallen in the garden of Mr. Robert Dowling, of Andover; that it had
fallen upon a path "within six yards of the house." It had been picked
up "immediately" after the storm by Mrs. Dowling. It was about the size
of a cricket ball: weight four pounds. No one had seen it fall. In the
_Times_, Sept. 15, 1852, there is an account of this thunderstorm, which
was of unusual violence.

There are some other data relative to the ball of quartz of
Westmoreland. They're poor things. There's so little to them that they
look like ghosts of the damned. However, ghosts, when multiplied, take
on what is called substantiality--if the solidest thing conceivable, in
quasi-existence, is only concentrated phantomosity. It is not only that
there have been other reports of quartz that has fallen from the sky;
there is another agreement. The round quartz object of Westmoreland, if
broken open and separated from its loose nucleus, would be a round,
hollow, quartz object. My pseudo-position is that two reports of similar
extraordinary occurrences, one from England and one from Canada--are

_Proc. Canadian Institute_, 3-7-8:

That, at the meeting of the Institute, of Dec. 1, 1888, one of the
members, Mr. J.A. Livingstone, exhibited a globular quartz body which he
asserted had fallen from the sky. It had been split open. It was hollow.

But the other members of the Institute decided that the object was
spurious, because it was not of "true meteoritic material."

No date; no place mentioned; we note the suggestion that it was only a
geode, which had been upon the ground in the first place. Its
crystalline lining was geode-like.

Quartz is upon the "index prohibitory" of Science. A monk who would read
Darwin would sin no more than would a scientist who would admit that,
except by the "up and down" process, quartz has ever fallen from the
sky--but Continuity: it is not excommunicated if part of or incorporated
in a baptized meteorite--St. Catherine's of Mexico, I think. It's as
epicurean a distinction as any ever made by theologians. Fassig lists a
quartz pebble, found in a hailstone (_Bibliography_, part 2-355). "Up
and down," of course. Another object of quartzite was reported to have
fallen, in the autumn of 1880, at Schroon Lake, N.Y.--said in the
_Scientific American_, 43-272 to be a fraud--it was not--the usual.
About the first of May, 1899, the newspapers published a story of a
"snow-white" meteorite that had fallen, at Vincennes, Indiana. The
Editor of the _Monthly Weather Review_ (issue of April, 1899) requested
the local observer, at Vincennes, to investigate. The Editor says that
the thing was only a fragment of a quartz boulder. He says that anyone
with at least a public school education should know better than to write
that quartz has ever fallen from the sky.

_Notes and Queries_, 2-8-92:

That, in the Leyden Museum of Antiquities, there is a disk of quartz: 6
centimeters by 5 millimeters by about 5 centimeters; said to have fallen
upon a plantation in the Dutch West Indies, after a meteoric explosion.


I think this is a vice we're writing. I recommend it to those who have
hankered for a new sin. At first some of our data were of so frightful
or ridiculous mien as to be hated, or eyebrowed, was only to be seen.
Then some pity crept in? I think that we can now embrace bricks.

The baked-clay-idea was all right in its place, but it rather lacks
distinction, I think. With our minds upon the concrete boats that have
been building terrestrially lately, and thinking of wrecks that may
occur to some of them, and of a new material for the deep-sea fishes to

Object that fell at Richland, South Carolina--yellow to gray--said to
look like a piece of brick. (_Amer. Jour. Sci._, 2-34-298.)

Pieces of "furnace-made brick" said to have fallen--in a hailstorm--at
Padua, August, 1834. (_Edin. New Phil. Jour._, 19-87.) The writer
offered an explanation that started another convention: that the
fragments of brick had been knocked from buildings by the hailstones.
But there is here a concomitant that will be disagreeable to anyone who
may have been inclined to smile at the now digestible--enough notion
that furnace-made bricks have fallen from the sky. It is that in some of
the hailstones--two per cent of them--that were found with the pieces of
brick, was a light grayish powder.

_Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society_, 337-365:

Padre Sechi explains that a stone said to have fallen, in a
thunderstorm, at Supino, Italy, September, 1875, had been knocked from a

_Nature_, 33-153:

That it had been reported that a good-sized stone, of form clearly
artificial, had fallen at Naples, November, 1885. The stone was
described by two professors of Naples, who had accepted it as
inexplicable but veritable. They were visited by Dr. H. Johnstone-Lavis,
the correspondent to _Nature_, whose investigations had convinced him
that the object was a "shoemaker's lapstone."

Now to us of the initiated, or to us of the wider outlook, there is
nothing incredible in the thought of shoemakers in other worlds--but I
suspect that this characterization is tactical.

This object of worked stone, or this shoemaker's lapstone, was made of
Vesuvian lava, Dr. Johnstone-Lavis thinks: most probably of lava of the
flow of 1631, from the La Scala quarries. We condemn "most probably" as
bad positivism. As to the "men of position," who had accepted that this
thing had fallen from the sky--"I have now obliged them to admit their
mistake," says Dr. Johnstone-Lavis--or it's always the stranger in
Naples who knows La Scala lava better than the natives know it.


That the thing had been knocked from, or thrown from, a roof.

As to attempt to trace the occurrence to any special roof--nothing said
upon that subject. Or that Dr. Johnstone-Lavis called a carved stone a
"lapstone," quite as Mr. Symons called a spherical object a "cannon
ball": bent upon a discrediting incongruity:

Shoemaking and celestiality.

It is so easy to say that axes, or wedge-shaped stones found on the
ground, were there in the first place, and that it is only coincidence
that lightning should strike near one--but the credibility of
coincidences decreases as the square root of their volume, I think. Our
massed instances speak too much of coincidences of coincidences. But the
axes, or wedge-shaped objects that have been found in trees, are more
difficult for orthodoxy. For instance, Arago accepts that such finds
have occurred, but he argues that, if wedge-shaped stones have been
found in tree trunks, so have toads been found in tree trunks--did the
toads fall there?

Not at all bad for a hypnotic.

Of course, in our acceptance, the Irish are the Chosen People. It's
because they are characteristically best in accord with the underlying
essence of quasi-existence. M. Arago answers a question by asking
another question. That's the only way a question can be answered in our
Hibernian kind of an existence.

Dr. Bodding argued with the natives of the Santal Parganas, India, who
said that cut and shaped stones had fallen from the sky, some of them
lodging in tree trunks. Dr. Bodding, with orthodox notions of velocity
of falling bodies, having missed, I suppose, some of the notes I have
upon large hailstones, which, for size, have fallen with astonishingly
low velocity, argued that anything falling from the sky would be
"smashed to atoms." He accepts that objects of worked stone have been
found in tree trunks, but he explains:

That the Santals often steal trees, but do not chop them down in the
usual way, because that would be to make too much noise: they insert
stone wedges, and hammer them instead: then, if they should be caught,
wedges would not be the evidence against them that axes would be.

Or that a scientific man can't be desperate and reasonable too.

Or that a pickpocket, for instance, is safe, though caught with his hand
in one's pocket, if he's gloved, say: because no court in the land would
regard a gloved hand in the same way in which a bare hand would be

That there's nothing but intermediateness to the rational and the
preposterous: that this status of our own ratiocinations is perceptible
wherein they are upon the unfamiliar.

Dr. Bodding collected 50 of these shaped stones, said to have fallen
from the sky, in the course of many years. He says that the Santals are
a highly developed race, and for ages have not used stone
implements--except in this one nefarious convenience to him.

All explanations are localizations. They fade away before the universal.
It is difficult to express that black rains in England do not originate
in the smoke of factories--less difficult to express that black rains of
South Africa do not. We utter little stress upon the absurdity of Dr.
Bedding's explanation, because, if anything's absurd everything's
absurd, or, rather, has in it some degree or aspect of absurdity, and
we've never had experience with any state except something somewhere
between ultimate absurdity and final reasonableness. Our acceptance is
that Dr. Bedding's elaborate explanation does not apply to cut-stone
objects found in tree trunks in other lands: we accept that for the
general, a local explanation is inadequate.

As to "thunderstones" not said to have fallen luminously, and not said
to have been found sticking in trees, we are told by faithful hypnotics
that astonished rustics come upon prehistoric axes that have been washed
into sight by rains, and jump to the conclusion that the things have
fallen from the sky. But simple rustics come upon many prehistoric
things: scrapers, pottery, knives, hammers. We have no record of
rusticity coming upon old pottery after a rain, reporting the fall of a
bowl from the sky.

Just now, my own acceptance is that wedge-shaped stone objects, formed
by means similar to human workmanship, have often fallen from the sky.
Maybe there are messages upon them. My acceptance is that they have been
called "axes" to discredit them: or the more familiar a term, the higher
the incongruity with vague concepts of the vast, remote, tremendous,

In _Notes and Queries_, 2-8-92, a writer says that he had a
"thunderstone," which he had brought from Jamaica. The description is of
a wedge-shaped object; not of an ax:

"It shows no mark of having been attached to a handle."

Of ten "thunderstones," figured upon different pages in Blinkenberg's
book, nine show no sign of ever having been attached to a handle: one is

But in a report by Dr. C. Leemans, Director of the Leyden Museum of
Antiquities, objects, said by the Japanese to have fallen from the sky,
are alluded to throughout as "wedges." In the _Archaeologic Journal_,
11-118, in a paper upon the "thunderstones" of Java, the objects are
called "wedges" and not "axes."

Our notion is that rustics and savages call wedge-shaped objects that
fall from the sky, "axes": that scientific men, when it suits their
purposes, can resist temptations to prolixity and pedantry, and adopt
the simple: that they can be intelligible when derisive.

All of which lands us in a confusion, worse, I think, than we were in
before we so satisfactorily emerged from the distresses of--butter and
blood and ink and paper and punk and silk. Now it's cannon balls and
axes and disks--if a "lapstone" be a disk--it's a flat stone, at any

A great many scientists are good impressionists: they snub the
impertinences of details. Had he been of a coarse, grubbing nature, I
think Dr. Bodding could never have so simply and beautifully explained
the occurrence of stone wedges in tree trunks. But to a realist, the
story would be something like this:

A man who needed a tree, in a land of jungles, where, for some unknown
reason, everyone's very selfish with his trees, conceives that hammering
stone wedges makes less noise than does the chopping of wood: he and his
descendants, in a course of many years, cut down trees with wedges, and
escape penalty, because it never occurs to a prosecutor that the head of
an ax is a wedge.

The story is like every other attempted positivism--beautiful and
complete, until we see what it excludes or disregards; whereupon it
becomes the ugly and incomplete--but not absolutely, because there is
probably something of what is called foundation for it. Perhaps a
mentally incomplete Santal did once do something of the kind. Story told
to Dr. Bodding: in the usual scientific way, he makes a dogma of an

Or we did have to utter a little stress upon this matter, after all.
They're so hairy and attractive, these scientists of the 19th century.
We feel the zeal of a Sitting Bull when we think of their scalps. We
shall have to have an expression of our own upon this confusing subject.
We have expressions: we don't call them explanations: we've discarded
explanations with beliefs. Though everyone who scalps is, in the oneness
of allness, himself likely to be scalped, there is such a discourtesy to
an enemy as the wearing of wigs.

Cannon balls and wedges, and what may they mean?

Bombardments of this earth--

Attempts to communicate--

Or visitors to this earth, long ago--explorers from the moon--taking
back with them, as curiosities, perhaps, implements of this earth's
prehistoric inhabitants--a wreck--a cargo of such things held for ages
in suspension in the Super-Sargasso Sea--falling, or shaken, down
occasionally by storms--

But, by preponderance of description, we cannot accept that
"thunderstones" ever were attached to handles, or are prehistoric axes--

As to attempts to communicate with this earth by means of wedge-shaped
objects especially adapted to the penetration of vast, gelatinous areas
spread around this earth--

In the _Proc. Roy. Irish Acad._, 9-337, there is an account of a stone
wedge that fell from the sky, near Cashel, Tipperary, Aug. 2, 1865. The
phenomenon is not questioned, but the orthodox preference is to call it,
not ax-like, nor wedge-shaped, but "pyramidal." For data of other
pyramidal stones said to have fallen from the sky, see _Rept. Brit.
Assoc._, 1861-34. One fell at Segowolee, India, March 6, 1853. Of the
object that fell at Cashel, Dr. Haughton says in the _Proceedings_: "A
singular feature is observable in this stone, that I have never seen in
any other:--the rounded edges of the pyramid are sharply marked by lines
on the black crust, as perfect as if made by a ruler." Dr. Haughton's
idea is that the marks may have been made by "some peculiar tension in
the cooling." It must have been very peculiar, if in all aerolites not
wedge-shaped, no such phenomenon had ever been observed. It merges away
with one or two instances known, after Dr. Haughton's time, of seeming
stratification in meteorites. Stratification in meteorites, however, is
denied by the faithful.

I begin to suspect something else.

A whopper is coming.

Later it will be as reasonable, by familiarity, as anything else ever

If someone should study the stone of Cashel, as Champollion studied the
Rosetta stone, he might--or, rather, would inevitably--find meaning in
those lines, and translate them into English--

Nevertheless I begin to suspect something else: something more subtle
and esoteric than graven characters upon stones that have fallen from
the sky, in attempts to communicate. The notion that other worlds are
attempting to communicate with this world is widespread: my own notion
is that it is not attempt at all--that it was achievement centuries ago.

I should like to send out a report that a "thunderstone" had fallen,
say, somewhere in New Hampshire--

And keep track of every person who came to examine that stone--trace
down his affiliations--keep track of him--

Then send out a report that a "thunderstone" had fallen at Stockholm,

Would one of the persons who had gone to New Hampshire, be met again in
Stockholm? But--what if he had no anthropological, lapidarian, or
meteorological affiliations--but did belong to a secret society--

It is only a dawning credulity.

Of the three forms of symmetric objects that have, or haven't, fallen
from the sky, it seems to me that the disk is the most striking. So
far, in this respect, we have been at our worst--possibly that's pretty
bad--but "lapstones" are likely to be of considerable variety of form,
and something that is said to have fallen at sometime somewhere in the
Dutch West Indies is profoundly of the unchosen.

Now we shall have something that is high up in the castes of the

_Comptes Rendus_, 1887-182:

That, upon June 20, 1887, in a "violent storm"--two months before the
reported fall of the symmetric iron object of Brixton--a small stone had
fallen from the sky at Tarbes, France: 13 millimeters in diameter; 5
millimeters thick; weight 2 grammes. Reported to the French Academy by
M. Sudre, professor of the Normal School, Tarbes.

This time the old convenience "there in the first place" is too greatly
resisted--the stone was covered with ice.

This object had been cut and shaped by means similar to human hands and
human mentality. It was a disk of worked stone--"tres regulier." "Il a
été assurement travaillé."

There's not a word as to any known whirlwind anywhere: nothing of other
objects or débris that fell at or near this date, in France. The thing
had fallen alone. But as mechanically as any part of a machine responds
to its stimulus, the explanation appears in _Comptes Rendus_ that this
stone had been raised by a whirlwind and then flung down.

It may be that in the whole nineteenth century no event more important
than this occurred. In _La Nature_, 1887, and in _L'Année Scientifique_,
1887, this occurrence is noted. It is mentioned in one of the summer
numbers of _Nature_, 1887. Fassig lists a paper upon it in the _Annuaire
de Soc. Met._, 1887.

Not a word of discussion.

Not a subsequent mention can I find.

Our own expression:

What matters it how we, the French Academy, or the Salvation Army may

A disk of worked stone fell from the sky, at Tarbes, France, June 20,


My own pseudo-conclusion:

That we've been damned by giants sound asleep, or by great scientific
principles and abstractions that cannot realize themselves: that little
harlots have visited their caprices upon us; that clowns, with buckets
of water from which they pretend to cast thousands of good-sized fishes
have anathematized us for laughing disrespectfully, because, as with all
clowns, underlying buffoonery is the desire to be taken seriously; that
pale ignorances, presiding over microscopes by which they cannot
distinguish flesh from nostoc or fishes' spawn or frogs' spawn, have
visited upon us their wan solemnities. We've been damned by corpses and
skeletons and mummies, which twitch and totter with pseudo-life derived
from conveniences.

Or there is only hypnosis. The accursed are those who admit they're the

If we be more nearly real we are reasons arraigned before a jury of

Of all meteorites in museums, very few were seen to fall. It is
considered sufficient grounds for admission if specimens can't be
accounted for in any way other than that they fell from the sky--as if
in the haze of uncertainty that surrounds all things, or that is the
essence of everything, or in the merging away of everything into
something else, there could be anything that could be accounted for in
only one way. The scientist and the theologian reason that if something
can be accounted for in only one way, it is accounted for in that
way--or logic would be logical, if the conditions that it imposes, but,
of course, does not insist upon, could anywhere be found in
quasi-existence. In our acceptance, logic, science, art, religion are,
in our "existence," premonitions of a coming awakening, like dawning
awarenesses of surroundings in the mind of a dreamer.

Any old chunk of metal that measures up to the standard of "true
meteoritic material" is admitted by the museums. It may seem incredible
that modern curators still have this delusion, but we suspect that the
date on one's morning newspaper hasn't much to do with one's modernity
all day long. In reading Fletcher's catalogue, for instance, we learn
that some of the best-known meteorites were "found in draining a
field"--"found in making a road"--"turned up by the plow" occurs a dozen
times. Someone fishing in Lake Okeechobee, brought up an object in his
fishing net. No meteorite had ever been seen to fall near it. The U.S.
National Museum accepts it.

If we have accepted only one of the data of "untrue meteoritic
material"--one instance of "carbonaceous" matter--if it be too difficult
to utter the word "coal"--we see that in this inclusion-exclusion, as in
every other means of forming an opinion, false inclusion and false
exclusion have been practiced by curators of museums.

There is something of ultra-pathos--of cosmic sadness--in this universal
search for a standard, and in belief that one has been revealed by
either inspiration or analysis, then the dogged clinging to a poor sham
of a thing long after its insufficiency has been shown--or renewed hope
and search for the special that can be true, or for something local that
could also be universal. It's as if "true meteoritic material" were a
"rock of ages" to some scientific men. They cling. But clingers cannot
hold out welcoming arms.

The only seemingly conclusive utterance, or seemingly substantial thing
to cling to, is a product of dishonesty, ignorance, or fatigue. All
sciences go back and back, until they're worn out with the process, or
until mechanical reaction occurs: then they move forward--as it were.
Then they become dogmatic, and take for bases, positions that were only
points of exhaustion. So chemistry divided and sub-divided down to
atoms; then, in the essential insecurity of all quasi-constructions, it
built up a system, which, to anyone so obsessed by his own hypnoses that
he is exempt to the chemist's hypnoses, is perceptibly enough an
intellectual anæmia built upon infinitesimal debilities.

In _Science_, n.s., 31-298, E.D. Hovey, of the American Museum of
Natural History, asserts or confesses that often have objects of
material such as fossiliferous limestone and slag been sent to him He
says that these things have been accompanied by assurances that they
have been seen to fall on lawns, on roads, in front of houses.

They are all excluded. They are not of true meteoritic material. They
were on the ground in the first place. It is only by coincidence that
lightning has struck, or that a real meteorite, which was unfindable,
has struck near objects of slag and limestone.

Mr. Hovey says that the list might be extended indefinitely. That's a
tantalizing suggestion of some very interesting stuff--

He says:

"But it is not worth while."

I'd like to know what strange, damned, excommunicated things have been
sent to museums by persons who have felt convinced that they had seen
what they may have seen, strongly enough to risk ridicule, to make up
bundles, go to express offices, and write letters. I accept that over
the door of every museum, into which such things enter, is written:

"Abandon Hope."

If a Mr. Symons mentions one instance of coal, or of slag or cinders,
said to have fallen from the sky, we are not--except by association with
the "carbonaceous" meteorites--strong in our impression that coal
sometimes falls to this earth from coal-burning super-constructions up

In _Comptes Rendus_, 91-197, M. Daubrée tells the same story. Our
acceptance, then, is that other curators could tell this same story.
Then the phantomosity of our impression substantiates proportionately to
its multiplicity. M. Daubrée says that often have strange damned things
been sent to the French museums, accompanied by assurances that they had
been seen to fall from the sky. Especially to our interest, he mentions
coal and slag.


Buried un-named and undated in Science's potter's field.

I do not say that the data of the damned should have the same rights as
the data of the saved. That would be justice. That would be of the
Positive Absolute, and, though the ideal of, a violation of, the very
essence of quasi-existence, wherein only to have the appearance of being
is to express a preponderance of force one way or another--or
inequilibrium, or inconsistency, or injustice.

Our acceptance is that the passing away of exclusionism is a phenomenon
of the twentieth century: that gods of the twentieth century will
sustain our notions be they ever so unwashed and frowsy. But, in our own
expressions, we are limited, by the oneness of quasiness, to the very
same methods by which orthodoxy established and maintains its now sleek,
suave preposterousnesses. At any rate, though we are inspired by an
especial subtle essence--or imponderable, I think--that pervades the
twentieth century, we have not the superstition that we are offering
anything as a positive fact. Rather often we have not the delusion that
we're any less superstitious and credulous than any logician, savage,
curator, or rustic.

An orthodox demonstration, in terms of which we shall have some
heresies, is that if things found in coal could have got there only by
falling there--they fell there.

So, in the _Manchester Lit. and Phil. Soc. Mems._, 2-9-306, it is argued
that certain roundish stones that have been found in coal are "fossil
aerolites": that they had fallen from the sky, ages ago, when the coal
was soft, because the coal had closed around them, showing no sign of

_Proc. Soc. of Antiq. of Scotland_, 1-1-121:

That, in a lump of coal, from a mine in Scotland, an iron instrument had
been found--

"The interest attaching to this singular relic arises from the fact of
its having been found in the heart of a piece of coal, seven feet under
the surface."

If we accept that this object of iron was of workmanship beyond the
means and skill of the primitive men who may have lived in Scotland when
coal was forming there--

"The instrument was considered to be modern."

That our expression has more of realness, or higher approximation to
realness, than has the attempt to explain that is made in the

That in modern times someone may have bored for coal, and that his drill
may have broken off in the coal it had penetrated.

Why he should have abandoned such easily accessible coal, I don't know.
The important point is that there was no sign of boring: that this
instrument was in a lump of coal that had closed around it so that its
presence was not suspected, until the lump of coal was broken.

No mention can I find of this damned thing in any other publication. Of
course there is an alternative here: the thing may not have fallen from
the sky: if in coal-forming times, in Scotland, there were, indigenous
to this earth, no men capable of making such an iron instrument, it may
have been left behind by visitors from other worlds.

In an extraordinary approximation to fairness and justice, which is
permitted to us, because we are quite as desirous to make acceptable
that nothing can be proved as we are to sustain our own expressions, we

That in _Notes and Queries_, 11-1-408, there is an account of an ancient
copper seal, about the size of a penny, found in chalk, at a depth of
from five to six feet, near Bredenstone, England. The design upon it is
said to be of a monk kneeling before a virgin and child: a legend upon
the margin is said to be: "St. Jordanis Monachi Spaldingie."

I don't know about that. It looks very desirable--undesirable to us.

There's a wretch of an ultra-frowsy thing in the _Scientific American_,
7-298, which we condemn ourselves, if somewhere, because of the oneness
of allness, the damned must also be the damning. It's a newspaper story:
that about the first of June, 1851, a powerful blast, near Dorchester,
Mass., cast out from a bed of solid rock a bell-shaped vessel of an
unknown metal: floral designs inlaid with silver; "art of some cunning
workman." The opinion of the Editor of the _Scientific American_ is that
the thing had been made by Tubal Cain, who was the first inhabitant of
Dorchester. Though I fear that this is a little arbitrary, I am not
disposed to fly rabidly at every scientific opinion.

_Nature_, 35-36:

A block of metal found in coal, in Austria, 1885. It is now in the
Salsburg museum.

This time we have another expression. Usually our intermediatist attack
upon provincial positivism is: Science, in its attempted positivism
takes something such as "true meteoritic material" as a standard of
judgment; but carbonaceous matter, except for its relative infrequency,
is just as veritable a standard of judgment; carbonaceous matter merges
away into such a variety of organic substances, that all standards are
reduced to indistinguishability: if, then, there is no real standard
against us, there is no real resistance to our own acceptances. Now our
intermediatism is: Science takes "true meteoritic material" as a
standard of admission; but now we have an instance that quite as truly
makes "true meteoritic material" a standard of exclusion; or, then, a
thing that denies itself is no real resistance to our own
acceptances--this depending upon whether we have a datum of something of
"true meteoritic material" that orthodoxy can never accept fell from the

We're a little involved here. Our own acceptance is upon a carved,
geometric thing that, if found in a very old deposit, antedates human
life, except, perhaps, very primitive human life, as an indigenous
product of this earth: but we're quite as much interested in the dilemma
it made for the faithful.

It is of "true meteoritic material." _L'Astronomie_, 1887-114, it is
said that, though so geometric, its phenomena so characteristic of
meteorites exclude the idea that it was the work of man.

As to the deposit--Tertiary coal.

Composition--iron, carbon, and a small quantity of nickel.

It has the pitted surface that is supposed by the faithful to be
characteristic of meteorites.

For a full account of this subject, see _Comptes Rendus_, 103-702. The
scientists who examined it could reach no agreement. They bifurcated:
then a compromise was suggested; but the compromise is a product of

That it was of true meteoritic material, and had not been shaped by man;

That it was not of true meteoritic material, but telluric iron that had
been shaped by man:

That it was true meteoritic material that had fallen from the sky, but
had been shaped by man, after its fall.

The data, one or more of which must be disregarded by each of these
three explanations, are: "true meteoritic material" and surface markings
of meteorites; geometric form; presence in an ancient deposit; material
as hard as steel; absence upon this earth, in Tertiary times, of men who
could work in material as hard as steel. It is said that, though of
"true meteoritic material," this object is virtually a steel object.

St. Augustine, with his orthodoxy, was never in--well, very much
worse--difficulties than are the faithful here. By due disregard of a
datum or so, our own acceptance that it was a steel object that had
fallen from the sky to this earth, in Tertiary times, is not forced upon
one. We offer ours as the only synthetic expression. For instance, in
_Science Gossip_, 1887-58, it is described as a meteorite: in this
account there is nothing alarming to the pious, because, though
everything else is told, its geometric form is not mentioned.

It's a cube. There is a deep incision all around it. Of its faces, two
that are opposite are rounded.

Though I accept that our own expression can only rather approximate to
Truth, by the wideness of its inclusions, and because it seems, of four
attempts, to represent the only complete synthesis, and can be nullified
or greatly modified by data that we, too, have somewhere disregarded,
the only means of nullification that I can think of would be
demonstration that this object is a mass of iron pyrites, which
sometimes forms geometrically. But the analysis mentions not a trace of
sulphur. Of course our weakness, or impositiveness, lies in that, by
anyone to whom it would be agreeable to find sulphur in this thing,
sulphur would be found in it--by our own intermediatism there is some
sulphur in everything, or sulphur is only a localization or emphasis of
something that, unemphasized, is in all things.

So there have, or haven't, been found upon this earth things that fell
from the sky, or that were left behind by extra-mundane visitors to this

A yarn in the London _Times_, June 22, 1844: that some workmen,
quarrying rock, close to the Tweed, about a quarter of a mile below
Rutherford Mills, discovered a gold thread embedded in the stone at a
depth of 8 feet: that a piece of the gold thread had been sent to the
office of the _Kelso Chronicle_.

Pretty little thing; not at all frowsy; rather damnable.

London _Times_, Dec. 24, 1851:

That Hiram De Witt, of Springfield, Mass., returning from California,
had brought with him a piece of auriferous quartz about the size of a
man's fist. It was accidentally dropped--split open--nail in it. There
was a cut-iron nail, size of a six-penny nail, slightly corroded. "It
was entirely straight and had a perfect head."

Or--California--ages ago, when auriferous quartz was
forming--super-carpenter, million of miles or so up in the air--drops a

To one not an intermediatist, it would seem incredible that this datum,
not only of the damned, but of the lowest of the damned, or of the
journalistic caste of the accursed, could merge away with something else
damned only by disregard, and backed by what is called "highest
scientific authority"--

Communication by Sir David Brewster (_Rept. Brit. Assoc._, 1845-51):

That a nail had been found in a block of stone from Kingoodie Quarry,
North Britain. The block in which the nail was found was nine inches
thick, but as to what part of the quarry it had come from, there is no
evidence--except that it could not have been from the surface. The
quarry had been worked about twenty years. It consisted of alternate
layers of hard stone and a substance called "till." The point of the
nail, quite eaten with rust, projected into some "till," upon the
surface of the block of stone. The rest of the nail lay upon the surface
of the stone to within an inch of the head--that inch of it was embedded
in the stone.

Although its caste is high, this is a thing profoundly of the
damned--sort of a Brahmin as regarded by a Baptist. Its case was stated
fairly; Brewster related all circumstances available to him--but there
was no discussion at the meeting of the British Association: no
explanation was offered--

Nevertheless the thing can be nullified--

But the nullification that we find is as much against orthodoxy in one
respect as it is against our own expression that inclusion in quartz or
sandstone indicates antiquity--or there would have to be a revision of
prevailing dogmas upon quartz and sandstone and age indicated by them,
if the opposing data should be accepted. Of course it may be contended
by both the orthodox and us heretics that the opposition is only a yarn
from a newspaper. By an odd combination, we find our two lost souls that
have tried to emerge, chucked back to perdition by one blow:

_Pop. Sci. News_, 1884-41:

That, according to the _Carson Appeal_, there had been found in a mine,
quartz crystals that could have had only 15 years in which to form:
that, where a mill had been built, sandstone had been found, when the
mill was torn down, that had hardened in 12 years: that in this
sandstone was a piece of wood "with a nail in it."

_Annals of Scientific Discovery_, 1853-71:

That, at the meeting of the British Association, 1853, Sir David
Brewster had announced that he had to bring before the meeting an object
"of so incredible a nature that nothing short of the strongest evidence
was necessary to render the statement at all probable."

A crystal lens had been found in the treasure-house at Nineveh.

In many of the temples and treasure houses of old civilizations upon
this earth have been preserved things that have fallen from the sky--or

Again we have a Brahmin. This thing is buried alive in the heart of
propriety: it is in the British Museum.

Carpenter, in _The Microscope and Its Revelations_, gives two drawings
of it. Carpenter argues that it is impossible to accept that optical
lenses had ever been made by the ancients. Never occurred to
him--someone a million miles or so up in the air--looking through his
telescope--lens drops out.

This does not appeal to Carpenter: he says that this object must have
been an ornament.

According to Brewster, it was not an ornament, but "a true optical

In that case, in ruins of an old civilization upon this earth, has been
found an accursed thing that was, acceptably, not a product of any old
civilization indigenous to this earth.


Early explorers have Florida mixed up with Newfoundland. But the
confusion is worse than that still earlier. It arises from simplicity.
Very early explorers think that all land westward is one land, India:
awareness of other lands as well as India comes as a slow process. I do
not now think of things arriving upon this earth from some especial
other world. That was my notion when I started to collect our data. Or,
as is a commonplace of observation, all intellection begins with the
illusion of homogeneity. It's one of Spencer's data: we see
homogeneousness in all things distant, or with which we have small
acquaintance. Advance from the relatively homogeneous to the relatively
heterogeneous is Spencerian Philosophy--like everything else, so-called:
not that it was really Spencer's discovery, but was taken from von Baer,
who, in turn, was continuous with preceding evolutionary speculation.
Our own expression is that all things are acting to advance to the
homogeneous, or are trying to localize Homogeneousness. Homogeneousness
is an aspect of the Universal, wherein it is a state that does not merge
away into something else. We regard homogeneousness as an aspect of
positiveness, but it is our acceptance that infinite frustrations of
attempts to positivize manifest themselves in infinite heterogeneity: so
that though things try to localize homogeneousness they end up in
heterogeneity so great that it amounts to infinite dispersion or

So all concepts are little attempted positivenesses, but soon have to
give in to compromise, modification, nullification, merging away into
indistinguishability--unless, here and there, in the world's history,
there may have been a super-dogmatist, who, for only an infinitesimal of
time, has been able to hold out against heterogeneity or modification or
doubt or "listening to reason," or loss of identity--in which
case--instant translation to heaven or the Positive Absolute.

Odd thing about Spencer is that he never recognized that "homogeneity,"
"integration," and "definiteness" are all words for the same state, or
the state that we call "positiveness." What we call his mistake is in
that he regarded "homogeneousness" as negative.

I began with a notion of some one other world, from which objects and
substances have fallen to this earth; which had, or which, to less
degree, has a tutelary interest in this earth; which is now attempting
to communicate with this earth--modifying, because of data which will
pile up later, into acceptance that some other world is not attempting
but has been, for centuries, in communication with a sect, perhaps, or a
secret society, or certain esoteric ones of this earth's inhabitants.

I lose a great deal of hypnotic power in not being able to concentrate
attention upon some one other world.

As I have admitted before I'm intelligent, as contrasted with the
orthodox. I haven't the aristocratic disregard of a New York curator or
an Eskimo medicine-man.

I have to dissipate myself in acceptance of a host of other worlds: size
of the moon, some of them: one of them, at least--tremendous thing:
we'll take that up later. Vast, amorphous aerial regions, to which such
definite words as "worlds" and "planets" seem inapplicable. And
artificial constructions that I have called "super-constructions": one
of them about the size of Brooklyn, I should say, offhand. And one or
more of them wheel-shaped things a goodly number of square miles in

I think that earlier in this book, before we liberalized into embracing
everything that comes along, your indignation, or indigestion would have
expressed in the notion that, if this were so, astronomers would have
seen these other worlds and regions and vast geometric constructions.
You'd have had that notion: you'd have stopped there.

But the attempt to stop is saying "enough" to the insatiable. In cosmic
punctuation there are no periods: illusion of periods is incomplete view
of colons and semi-colons.

We can't stop with the notion that if there were such phenomena,
astronomers would have seen them. Because of our experience with
suppression and disregard, we suspect, before we go into the subject at
all, that astronomers have seen them; that navigators and meteorologists
have seen them; that individual scientists and other trained observers
have seen them many times--

That it is the System that has excluded data of them.

As to the Law of Gravitation, and astronomers' formulas, remember that
these formulas worked out in the time of Laplace as well as they do now.
But there are hundreds of planetary bodies now known that were then not
known. So a few hundred worlds more of ours won't make any difference.
Laplace knew of about only thirty bodies in this solar system: about six
hundred are recognized now--

What are the discoveries of geology and biology to a theologian?

His formulas still work out as well as they ever did.

If the Law of Gravitation could be stated as a real utterance, it might
be a real resistance to us. But we are told only that gravitation is
gravitation. Of course to an intermediatist, nothing can be defined
except in terms of itself--but even the orthodox, in what seems to me to
be the innate premonitions of realness, not founded upon experience,
agree that to define a thing in terms of itself is not real definition.
It is said that by gravitation is meant the attraction of all things
proportionately to mass and inversely as the square of the distance.
Mass would mean inter-attraction holding together final particles, if
there were final particles. Then, until final particles be discovered,
only one term of this expression survives, or mass is attraction. But
distance is only extent of mass, unless one holds out for absolute
vacuum among planets, a position against which we could bring a host of
data. But there is no possible means of expressing that gravitation is
anything other than attraction. So there is nothing to resist us but
such a phantom as--that gravitation is the gravitation of all
gravitations proportionately to gravitation and inversely as the square
of gravitation. In a quasi-existence, nothing more sensible than this
can be said upon any so-called subject--perhaps there are higher
approximations to ultimate sensibleness.

Nevertheless we seem to have a feeling that with the System against us
we have a kind of resistance here. We'd have felt so formerly, at any
rate: I think the Dr. Grays and Prof. Hitchcocks have modified our
trustfulness toward indistinguishability. As to the perfection of this
System that quasi-opposes us and the infallibility of its
mathematics--as if there could be real mathematics in a mode of seeming
where twice two are not four--we've been told over and over of their
vindication in the discovery of Neptune.

I'm afraid that the course we're taking will turn out like every other
development. We began humbly, admitting that we're of the damned--

But our eyebrows--

Just a faint flicker in them, or in one of them, every time we hear of
the "triumphal discovery of Neptune"--this "monumental achievement of
theoretical astronomy," as the text-books call it.

The whole trouble is that we've looked it up.

The text-books omit this:

That, instead of the orbit of Neptune agreeing with the calculations of
Adams and Leverrier, it was so different--that Leverrier said that it
was not the planet of his calculations.

Later it was thought best to say no more upon that subject.

The text-books omit this:

That, in 1846, everyone who knew a sine from a cosine was out sining and
cosining for a planet beyond Uranus.

Two of them guessed right.

To some minds, even after Leverrier's own rejection of Neptune, the word
"guessed" may be objectionable--but, according to Prof. Peirce, of
Harvard, the calculations of Adams and Leverrier would have applied
quite as well to positions many degrees from the position of Neptune.

Or for Prof. Peirce's demonstration that the discovery of Neptune was
only a "happy accident," see _Proc. Amer. Acad. Sciences_, 1-65.

For references, see Lowell's _Evolution of Worlds_.

Or comets: another nebulous resistance to our own notions. As to
eclipses, I have notes upon several of them that did not occur upon
scheduled time, though with differences only of seconds--and one
delightful lost soul, deep-buried, but buried in the ultra-respectable
records of the Royal Astronomical Society, upon an eclipse that did not
occur at all. That delightful, ultra-sponsored thing of perdition is too
good and malicious to be dismissed with passing notice: we'll have him

Throughout the history of astronomy, every comet that has come back upon
predicted time--not that, essentially, there was anything more abstruse
about it than is a prediction that you can make of a postman's
periodicities tomorrow--was advertised for all it was worth. It's the
way reputations are worked up for fortune-tellers by the faithful. The
comets that didn't come back--omitted or explained. Or Encke's comet. It
came back slower and slower. But the astronomers explained. Be almost
absolutely sure of that: they explained. They had it all worked out and
formulated and "proved" why that comet was coming back slower and
slower--and there the damn thing began coming faster and faster.

Halley's comet.

Astronomy--"the perfect science, as we astronomers like to call it."

It's my own notion that if, in a real existence, an astronomer could not
tell one longitude from another, he'd be sent back to this purgatory of
ours until he could meet that simple requirement.

Halley was sent to the Cape of Good Hope to determine its longitude. He
got it degrees wrong. He gave to Africa's noble Roman promontory a
retroussé twist that would take the pride out of any Kaffir.

We hear everlastingly of Halley's comet. It came back--maybe. But,
unless we look the matter up in contemporaneous records, we hear nothing
of--the Leonids, for instance. By the same methods as those by which
Halley's comet was predicted, the Leonids were predicted. November,
1898--no Leonids. It was explained. They had been perturbed. They would
appear in November, 1899. November, 1899--November, 1900--no Leonids.

My notion of astronomic accuracy:

Who could not be a prize marksman, if only his hits be recorded?

As to Halley's comet, of 1910--everybody now swears he saw it. He has to
perjure himself: otherwise he'd be accused of having no interest in
great, inspiring things that he's never given any attention to.

Regard this:

That there never is a moment when there is not some comet in the sky.
Virtually there is no year in which several new comets are not
discovered, so plentiful are they. Luminous fleas on a vast black
dog--in popular impressions, there is no realization of the extent to
which this solar system is flea-bitten.

If a comet have not the orbit that astronomers have
predicted--perturbed. If--like Halley's comet--it be late--even a year
late--perturbed. When a train is an hour late, we have small opinion of
the predictions of timetables. When a comet's a year late, all we ask
is--that it be explained. We hear of the inflation and arrogance of
astronomers. My own acceptance is not that they are imposing upon us:
that they are requiting us. For many of us priests no longer function to
give us seeming rapport with Perfection, Infallibility--the Positive
Absolute. Astronomers have stepped forward to fill a vacancy--with
quasi-phantomosity--but, in our acceptance, with a higher approximation
to substantiality than had the attenuations that preceded them. I should
say, myself, that all that we call progress is not so much response to
"urge" as it is response to a hiatus--or if you want something to grow
somewhere, dig out everything else in its area. So I have to accept that
the positive assurances of astronomers are necessary to us, or the
blunderings, evasions and disguises of astronomers would never be
tolerated: that, given such latitude as they are permitted to take, they
could not be very disastrously mistaken. Suppose the comet called
Halley's had not appeared--

Early in 1910, a far more important comet than the anæmic luminosity
said to be Halley's, appeared. It was so brilliant that it was visible
in daylight. The astronomers would have been saved anyway. If this other
comet did not have the predicted orbit--perturbation. If you're going to
Coney Island, and predict there'll be a special kind of a pebble on the
beach, I don't see how you can disgrace yourself, if some other pebble
will do just as well--because the feeble thing said to have been seen in
1910 was no more in accord with the sensational descriptions given out
by astronomers in advance than is a pale pebble with a brick-red

I predict that next Wednesday, a large Chinaman, in evening clothes,
will cross Broadway, at 42nd Street, at 9 P.M. He doesn't, but a
tubercular Jap in a sailor's uniform does cross Broadway, at 35th
Street, Friday, at noon. Well, a Jap is a perturbed Chinaman, and
clothes are clothes.

I remember the terrifying predictions made by the honest and credulous
astronomers, who must have been themselves hypnotized, or they could not
have hypnotized the rest of us, in 1909. Wills were made. Human life
might be swept from this planet. In quasi-existence, which is
essentially Hibernian, that would be no reason why wills should not be
made. The less excitable of us did expect at least some pretty good

I have to admit that it is said that, in New York, a light was seen in
the sky.

It was about as terrifying as the scratch of a match on the seat of some
breeches half a mile away.

It was not on time.

Though I have heard that a faint nebulosity, which I did not see,
myself, though I looked when I was told to look, was seen in the sky, it
appeared several days after the time predicted.

A hypnotized host of imbeciles of us: told to look up at the sky: we
did--like a lot of pointers hypnotized by a partridge.

The effect:

Almost everybody now swears that he saw Halley's comet, and that it was
a glorious spectacle.

An interesting circumstance here is that seemingly we are trying to
discredit astronomers because astronomers oppose us--that's not my
impression. We shall be in the Brahmin caste of the hell of the
Baptists. Almost all our data, in some regiments of this procession, are
observations by astronomers, few of them mere amateur astronomers. It is
the System that opposes us. It is the System that is suppressing
astronomers. I think we pity them in their captivity. Ours is not
malice--in a positive sense. It's chivalry--somewhat. Unhappy
astronomers looking out from high towers in which they are
imprisoned--we appear upon the horizon.

But, as I have said, our data do not relate to some especial other
world. I mean very much what a savage upon an ocean island might
vaguely think of in his speculations--not upon some other land, but
complexes of continents and their phenomena: cities, factories in
cities, means of communication--

Now all the other savages would know of a few vessels sailing in their
regular routes, passing this island in regularized periodicities. The
tendency in these minds would be expression of the universal tendency
toward positivism--or Completeness--or conviction that these few
regularized vessels constituted all. Now I think of some especial savage
who suspects otherwise--because he's very backward and unimaginative and
insensible to the beautiful ideals of the others: not piously occupied,
like the others, in bowing before impressive-looking sticks of wood;
dishonestly taking time for his speculations, while the others are
patriotically witch-finding. So the other higher and nobler savages know
about the few regularized vessels: know when to expect them; have their
periodicities all worked out; just about when vessels will pass, or
eclipse each other--explaining that all vagaries were due to atmospheric

They'd come out strong in explaining.

You can't read a book upon savages without noting what resolute
explainers they are.

They'd say that all this mechanism was founded upon the mutual
attraction of the vessels--deduced from the fall of a monkey from a palm
tree--or, if not that, that devils were pushing the vessels--something
of the kind.


Débris, not from these vessels, cast up by the waves.


How can one think of something and something else, too?

I'm in the state of mind of a savage who might find upon a shore, washed
up by the same storm, buoyant parts of a piano and a paddle that was
carved by cruder hands than his own: something light and summery from
India, and a fur overcoat from Russia--or all science, though
approximating wider and wider, is attempt to conceive of India in terms
of an ocean island, and of Russia in terms of India so interpreted.
Though I am trying to think of Russia and India in world-wide terms, I
cannot think that that, or the universalizing of the local, is cosmic
purpose. The higher idealist is the positivist who tries to localize
the universal, and is in accord with cosmic purpose: the super-dogmatist
of a local savage who can hold out, without a flurry of doubt, that a
piano washed up on a beach is the trunk of a palm tree that a shark has
bitten, leaving his teeth in it. So we fear for the soul of Dr. Gray,
because he did not devote his whole life to that one stand that, whether
possible or inconceivable, thousands of fishes had been cast from one

So, unfortunately for myself, if salvation be desirable, I look out
widely but amorphously, indefinitely and heterogeneously. If I say I
conceive of another world that is now in secret communication with
certain esoteric inhabitants of this earth, I say I conceive of still
other worlds that are trying to establish communication with all the
inhabitants of this earth. I fit my notions to the data I find. That is
supposed to be the right and logical and scientific thing to do; but it
is no way to approximate to form, system, organization. Then I think I
conceive of other worlds and vast structures that pass us by, within a
few miles, without the slightest desire to communicate, quite as tramp
vessels pass many islands without particularizing one from another. Then
I think I have data of a vast construction that has often come to this
earth, dipped into an ocean, submerged there a while, then going
away--Why? I'm not absolutely sure. How would an Eskimo explain a
vessel, sending ashore for coal, which is plentiful upon some Arctic
beaches, though of unknown use to the natives, then sailing away, with
no interest in the natives?

A great difficulty in trying to understand vast constructions that show
no interest in us:

The notion that we must be interesting.

I accept that, though we're usually avoided, probably for moral reasons,
sometimes this earth has been visited by explorers. I think that the
notion that there have been extra-mundane visitors to China, within what
we call the historic period, will be only ordinarily absurd, when we
come to that datum.

I accept that some of the other worlds are of conditions very similar to
our own. I think of others that are very different--so that visitors
from them could not live here--without artificial adaptations.

How some of them could breathe our attenuated air, if they came from a
gelatinous atmosphere--


The masks that have been found in ancient deposits.

Most of them are of stone, and are said to have been ceremonial regalia
of savages--

But the mask that was found in Sullivan County, Missouri, in 1879
(_American Antiquarian_, 3-336).

It is made of iron and silver.


One of the damnedest in our whole saturnalia of the accursed--

Because it is hopeless to try to shake off an excommunication only by
saying that we're damned by blacker things than ourselves; and that the
damned are those who admit they're of the damned. Inertia and hypnosis
are too strong for us. We say that: then we go right on admitting we're
of the damned. It is only by being more nearly real that we can sweep
away the quasi-things that oppose us. Of course, as a whole, we have
considerable amorphousness, but we are thinking now of "individual"
acceptances. Wideness is an aspect of Universalness or Realness. If our
syntheses disregard fewer data than do opposing syntheses--which are
often not syntheses at all, but mere consideration of some one
circumstance--less widely synthetic things fade away before us. Harmony
is an aspect of the Universal, by which we mean Realness. If we
approximate more highly to harmony among the parts of an expression and
to all available circumstances of an occurrence, the self-contradictors
turn hazy. Solidity is an aspect of realness. We pile them up, and we
pile them up, or they pass and pass and pass: things that bulk large as
they march by, supporting and solidifying one another--

And still, and for regiments to come, hypnosis and inertia rule us--

One of the damnedest of our data:

In the _Scientific American_, Sept. 10, 1910, Charles F. Holder writes:

"Many years ago, a strange stone resembling a meteorite, fell into the
Valley of the Yaqui, Mexico, and the sensational story went from one end
to the other of the country that a stone bearing human inscriptions had
descended to the earth."

The bewildering observation here is Mr. Holder's assertion that this
stone did fall. It seems to me that he must mean that it fell by
dislodgment from a mountainside into a valley--but we shall see that it
was such a marked stone that very unlikely would it have been unknown to
dwellers in a valley, if it had been reposing upon a mountainside above
them. It may have been carelessness: intent may have been to say that a
sensational story of a strange stone said to have fallen, etc.

This stone was reported by Major Frederick Burnham, of the British Army.
Later Major Burnham revisited it, and Mr. Holder accompanied him, their
purpose to decipher the inscriptions upon it, if possible.

"This stone was a brown, igneous rock, its longest axis about eight
feet, and on the eastern face, which had an angle of about forty-five
degrees, was the deep-cut inscription."

Mr. Holder says that he recognized familiar Mayan symbols in the
inscription. His method was the usual method by which anything can be
"identified" as anything else: that is to pick out whatever is agreeable
and disregard the rest. He says that he has demonstrated that most of
the symbols are Mayan. One of our intermediatist pseudo-principles is
that any way of demonstrating anything is just as good a way of
demonstrating anything else. By Mr. Holder's method we could demonstrate
that we're Mayan--if that should be a source of pride to us. One of the
characters upon this stone is a circle within a circle--similar
character found by Mr. Holder is a Mayan manuscript. There are two 6's.
6's can be found in Mayan manuscripts. A double scroll. There are dots
and there are dashes. Well, then, we, in turn, disregard the circle
within a circle and the double scroll and emphasize that 6's occur in
this book, and that dots are plentiful, and would be more plentiful if
it were customary to use the small "i" for the first personal
pronoun--that when it comes to dashes--that's demonstrated: we're Mayan.

I suppose the tendency is to feel that we're sneering at some valuable
archaeologic work, and that Mr. Holder did make a veritable

He writes:

"I submitted the photographs to the Field Museum and the Smithsonian and
one or two others, and, to my surprise, the reply was that they could
make nothing out of it."

Our indefinite acceptance, by preponderance of three or four groups of
museum-experts against one person, is that a stone bearing inscriptions
unassimilable with any known language upon this earth, is said to have
fallen from the sky. Another poor wretch of an outcast belonging here is
noted in the _Scientific American_, 48-261: that, of an object, or a
meteorite, that fell Feb. 16, 1883, near Brescia, Italy, a false report
was circulated that one of the fragments bore the impress of a hand.
That's all that is findable by me upon this mere gasp of a thing.
Intermediatistically, my acceptance is that, though in the course of
human history, there have been some notable approximations, there never
has been a real liar: that he could not survive in intermediateness,
where everything merges away or has its pseudo-base in something
else--would be instantly translated to the Negative Absolute. So my
acceptance is that, though curtly dismissed, there was something to base
upon in this report; that there were unusual markings upon this object.
Of course that is not to jump to the conclusion that they were cuneiform
characters that looked like finger-prints.

Altogether, I think that in some of our past expressions, we must have
been very efficient, if the experience of Mr. Symons be typical, so
indefinite are we becoming here. Just here we are interested in many
things that have been found, especially in the United States, which
speak of a civilization, or of many civilizations not indigenous to
this earth. One trouble is in trying to decide whether they fell here
from the sky, or were left behind by visitors from other worlds. We have
a notion that there have been disasters aloft, and that coins have
dropped here: that inhabitants of this earth found them or saw them
fall, and then made coins imitatively: it may be that coins were
showered here by something of a tutelary nature that undertook to
advance us from the stage of barter to the use of a medium. If coins
should be identified as Roman coins, we've had so much experience with
"identifications" that we know a phantom when we see one--but, even so,
how could Roman coins have got to North America--far in the interior of
North America--or buried under the accumulation of centuries of
soil--unless they did drop from--wherever the first Romans came from?
Ignatius Donnelly, in _Atlantis_, gives a list of objects that have been
found in mounds that are supposed to antedate all European influence in
America: lathe-made articles, such as traders--from somewhere--would
supply to savages--marks of the lathe said to be unmistakable. Said to
be: of course we can't accept that anything is unmistakable. In the
_Rept. Smithson. Inst._, 1881-619, there is an account, by Charles C.
Jones, of two silver crosses that were found in Georgia. They are
skillfully made, highly ornamented crosses, but are not conventional
crucifixes: all arms of equal length. Mr. Jones is a good
positivist--that De Sota had halted at the "precise" spot where these
crosses were found. But the spirit of negativeness that lurks in all
things said to be "precise" shows itself in that upon one of these
crosses is an inscription that has no meaning in Spanish or any other
known, terrestrial language:

"IYNKICIDU," according to Mr. Jones. He thinks that this is a name, and
that there is an aboriginal ring to it, though I should say, myself,
that he was thinking of the far-distant Incas: that the Spanish donor
cut on the cross the name of an Indian to whom it was presented. But we
look at the inscription ourselves and see that the letters said to be
"C" and "D" are turned the wrong way, and that the letter said to be "K"
is not only turned the wrong way, but is upside down.

It is difficult to accept that the remarkable, the very extensive,
copper mines in the region of Lake Superior were ever the works of
American aborigines. Despite the astonishing extent of these mines,
nothing has ever been found to indicate that the region was ever
inhabited by permanent dwellers-- "... not a vestige of a dwelling, a
skeleton, or a bone has been found." The Indians have no traditions
relating to the mines. (_Amer. Antiquarian_, 25-258.) I think that we've
had visitors: that they have come here for copper, for instance. As to
other relics of them--but we now come upon frequency of a merger that
has not so often appeared before:


Hair called real hair--then there are wigs. Teeth called real
teeth--then there are false teeth. Official money--counterfeit money.
It's the bane of psychic research. If there be psychic phenomena, there
must be fraudulent psychic phenomena. So desperate is the situation here
that Carrington argues that, even if Palladino be caught cheating, that
is not to say that all her phenomena are fraudulent. My own version is:
that nothing indicates anything, in a positive sense, because, in a
positive sense, there is nothing to be indicated. Everything that is
called true must merge away indistinguishably into something called
false. Both are expressions of the same underlying quasiness, and are
continuous. Fraudulent antiquarian relics are very common, but they are
not more common than are fraudulent paintings.

W.S. Forest, _Historical Sketches of Norfolk, Virginia_:

That, in September, 1833, when some workmen, near Norfolk, were boring
for water, a coin was drawn up from a depth of about 30 feet. It was
about the size of an English shilling, but oval--an oval disk, if not a
coin. The figures upon it were distinct, and represented "a warrior or
hunter and other characters, apparently of Roman origin."

The means of exclusion would probably be--men digging a hole--no one
else looking: one of them drops a coin into the hole--as to where he got
a strange coin, remarkable in shape even--that's disregarded. Up comes
the coin--expressions of astonishment from the evil one who had dropped

However, the antiquarians have missed this coin. I can find no other
mention of it.

Another coin. Also a little study in the genesis of a prophet.

In the _American Antiquarian_, 16-313, is copied a story by a
correspondent to the _Detroit News_, of a copper coin about the size of
a two-cent piece, said to have been found in a Michigan mound. The
Editor says merely that he does not endorse the find. Upon this slender
basis, he buds out, in the next number of the _Antiquarian_:

"The coin turns out, as we predicted, to be a fraud."

You can imagine the scorn of Elijah, or any of the old more nearly real

Or all things are tried by the only kind of jurisprudence we have in

Presumed to be innocent until convicted--but they're guilty.

The Editor's reasoning is as phantom-like as my own, or St. Paul's, or
Darwin's. The coin is condemned because it came from the same region
from which, a few years before, had come pottery that had been called
fraudulent. The pottery had been condemned because it was condemnable.

_Scientific American_, June 17, 1882:

That a farmer, in Cass Co., Ill., had picked up, on his farm, a bronze
coin, which was sent to Prof. F.F. Hilder, of St. Louis, who identified
it as a coin of Antiochus IV. Inscription said to be in ancient Greek
characters: translated as "King Antiochus Epiphanes (Illustrious) the
Victorius." Sounds quite definite and convincing--but we have some more
translations coming.

In the _American Pioneer_, 2-169, are shown two faces of a copper coin,
with characters very much like those upon the Grave Creek stone--which,
with translations, we'll take up soon. This coin is said to have been
found in Connecticut, in 1843.

_Records of the Past_, 12-182:

That, early in 1913, a coin, said to be a Roman coin, was reported as
discovered in an Illinois mound. It was sent to Dr. Emerson, of the Art
Institute, of Chicago. His opinion was that the coin is "of the rare
mintage of Domitius Domitianus, Emperor in Egypt." As to its discovery
in an Illinois mound, Dr. Emerson disclaims responsibility. But what
strikes me here is that a joker should not have been satisfied with an
ordinary Roman coin. Where did he get a rare coin, and why was it not
missed from some collection? I have looked over numismatic journals
enough to accept that the whereabouts of every rare coin in anyone's
possession is known to coin-collectors. Seems to me nothing left but to
call this another "identification."

_Proc. Amer. Phil. Soc._, 12-224:

That, in July, 1871, a letter was received from Mr. Jacob W. Moffit, of
Chillicothe, Ill., enclosing a photograph of a coin, which he said had
been brought up, by him, while boring, from a depth of 120 feet.

Of course, by conventional scientific standards, such depth has some
extraordinary meaning. Palaeontologists, geologists, and archaeologists
consider themselves reasonable in arguing ancient origin of the
far-buried. We only accept: depth is a pseudo-standard with us; one
earthquake could bury a coin of recent mintage 120 feet below the

According to a writer in the _Proceedings_, the coin is uniform in
thickness, and had never been hammered out by savages--"there are other
tokens of the machine shop."

But, according to Prof. Leslie, it is an astrologic amulet. "There are
upon it the signs of Pisces and Leo."

Or, with due disregard, you can find signs of your great-grand-mother,
or of the Crusades, or of the Mayans, upon anything that ever came from
Chillicothe or from a five and ten cent store. Anything that looks like
a cat and a goldfish looks like Leo and Pisces: but, by due suppressions
and distortions there's nothing that can't be made to look like a cat
and a goldfish. I fear me we're turning a little irritable here. To be
damned by slumbering giants and interesting little harlots and clowns
who rank high in their profession is at least supportable to our vanity;
but, we find that the anthropologists are of the slums of the divine, or
of an archaic kindergarten of intellectuality, and it is very
unflattering to find a mess of moldy infants sitting in judgment upon

Prof. Leslie then finds, as arbitrarily as one might find that some
joker put the Brooklyn Bridge where it is, that "the piece was placed
there as a practical joke, though not by its present owner; and is a
modern fabrication, perhaps of the sixteenth century, possibly
Hispano-American or French-American origin."

It's sheer, brutal attempt to assimilate a thing that may or may not
have fallen from the sky, with phenomena admitted by the anthropologic
system: or with the early French or Spanish explorers of Illinois.
Though it is ridiculous in a positive sense to give reasons, it is more
acceptable to attempt reasons more nearly real than opposing reasons. Of
course, in his favor, we note that Prof. Leslie qualifies his notions.
But his disregards are that there is nothing either French or Spanish
about this coin. A legend upon it is said to be "somewhere between
Arabic and Phoenician, without being either." Prof. Winchell (_Sparks
from a Geologist's Hammer_, p. 170) says of the crude designs upon this
coin, which was in his possession--scrawls of an animal and of a
warrior, or of a cat and a goldfish, whichever be convenient--that they
had been neither stamped nor engraved, but "looked as if etched with an
acid." That is a method unknown in numismatics of this earth. As to the
crudity of design upon this coin, and something else--that, though the
"warrior" may be, by due disregards, either a cat or a goldfish, we have
to note that his headdress is typical of the American Indian--could be
explained, of course, but for fear that we might be instantly translated
to the Positive Absolute, which may not be absolutely desirable, we
prefer to have some flaws or negativeness in our own expressions.

Data of more than the thrice-accursed:

Tablets of stone, with the ten commandments engraved upon them, in
Hebrew, said to have been found in mounds in the United States:

Masonic emblems said to have been found in mounds in the United States.

We're upon the borderline of our acceptances, and we're amorphous in the
uncertainties and mergings of our outline. Conventionally, or, with no
real reason for so doing, we exclude these things, and then, as grossly
and arbitrarily and irrationally--though our attempt is always to
approximate away from these negative states--as ever a Kepler, Newton,
or Darwin made his selections, without which he could not have seemed
to be, at all, because every one of them is now seen to be an illusion,
we accept that other lettered things have been found in mounds in the
United States. Of course we do what we can to make the selection seem
not gross and arbitrary and irrational. Then, if we accept that
inscribed things of ancient origin have been found in the United States;
that cannot be attributed to any race indigenous to the western
hemisphere; that are not in any language ever heard of in the eastern
hemisphere--there's nothing to it but to turn non-Euclidian and try to
conceive of a third "hemisphere," or to accept that there has been
intercourse between the western hemisphere and some other world.

But there is a peculiarity to these inscribed objects. They remind me of
the records left, by Sir John Franklin, in the Arctic; but, also, of
attempts made by relief expeditions to communicate with the Franklin
expedition. The lost explorers cached their records--or concealed them
conspicuously in mounds. The relief expeditions sent up balloons, from
which messages were dropped broadcast. Our data are of things that have
been cached, and of things that seem to have been dropped--

Or a Lost Expedition from--Somewhere.

Explorers from somewhere, and their inability to return--then, a long,
sentimental, persistent attempt, in the spirit of our own Arctic
relief-expeditions--at least to establish communication--

What if it may have succeeded?

We think of India--the millions of natives who are ruled by a small band
of esoterics--only because they receive support and direction
from--somewhere else--or from England.

In 1838, Mr. A.B. Tomlinson, owner of the great mound at Grave Creek,
West Virginia, excavated the mound. He said that, in the presence of
witnesses, he had found a small, flat, oval stone--or disk--upon which
were engraved alphabetic characters.

Col. Whittelsey, an expert in these matters, says that the stone is now
"universally regarded by archaeologists as a fraud": that, in his
opinion, Mr. Tomlinson had been imposed upon.

Avebury, _Prehistoric Times_, p. 271:

"I mention it because it has been the subject of much discussion, but
it is now generally admitted to be a fraud. It is inscribed with Hebrew
characters, but the forger has copied the modern instead of the ancient
form of the letters."

As I have said, we're as irritable here, under the oppressions of the
anthropologists as ever were slaves in the south toward superiorities
from "poor white trash." When we finally reverse our relative positions
we shall give lowest place to the anthropologists. A Dr. Gray does at
least look at a fish before he conceives of a miraculous origin for it.
We shall have to submerge Lord Avebury far below him--if we accept that
the stone from Grave Creek is generally regarded as a fraud by eminent
authorities who did not know it from some other object--or, in general,
that so decided an opinion must be the product of either deliberate
disregard or ignorance or fatigue. The stone belongs to a class of
phenomena that is repulsive to the System. It will not assimilate with
the System. Let such an object be heard of by such a systematist as
Avebury, and the mere mention of it is as nearly certainly the stimulus
to a conventional reaction as is a charged body to an electroscope or a
glass of beer to a prohibitionist. It is of the ideals of Science to
know one object from another before expressing an opinion upon a thing,
but that is not the spirit of universal mechanics:

A thing. It is attractive or repulsive. Its conventional reaction

Because it is not the stone from Grave Creek that is in Hebrew
characters, either ancient or modern: it is a stone from Newark, Ohio,
of which the story is told that a forger made this mistake of using
modern instead of ancient Hebrew characters. We shall see that the
inscription upon the Grave Creek stone is not in Hebrew.

Or all things are presumed to be innocent, but are supposed to be
guilty--unless they assimilate.

Col. Whittelsey (_Western Reserve Historical Tracts, No. 33_) says that
the Grave Creek stone was considered a fraud by Wilson, Squires, and
Davis. Then he comes to the Congress of Archaeologists at Nancy, France,
1875. It is hard for Col. Whittelsey to admit that, at this meeting,
which sounds important, the stone was endorsed. He reminds us of Mr.
Symons, and "the man" who "considered" that he saw something. Col.
Whittelsey's somewhat tortuous expression is that the finder of the
stone "so imposed his views" upon the congress that it pronounced the
stone genuine.

Also the stone was examined by Schoolcraft. He gave his opinion for

Or there's only one process, and "see-saw" is one of its aspects. Three
or four fat experts on the side against us. We find four or five plump
ones on our side. Or all that we call logic and reasoning ends up as
sheer preponderance of avoirdupois.

Then several philologists came out in favor of genuineness. Some of them
translated the inscription. Of course, as we have said, it is our
method--or the method of orthodoxy--way in which all conclusions are
reached--to have some awfully eminent, or preponderantly plump,
authorities with us whenever we can--in this case, however, we feel just
a little apprehensive in being caught in such excellently obese, but
somewhat negativized, company:

Translation by M. Jombard:

"Thy orders are laws: thou shinest in impetuous élan and rapid chamois."

M. Maurice Schwab:

"The chief of Emigration who reached these places (or this island) has
fixed these characters forever."

M. Oppert:

"The grave of one who was assassinated here. May God, to revenge him,
strike his murderer, cutting off the hand of his existence."

I like the first one best. I have such a vivid impression from it of
someone polishing up brass or something, and in an awful hurry. Of
course the third is more dramatic--still they're all very good. They are
perturbations of one another, I suppose.

In Tract 44, Col. Whittelsey returns to the subject. He gives the
conclusion of Major De Helward, at the Congress of Luxembourg, 1877:

"If Prof. Read and myself are right in the conclusion that the figures
are neither of the Runic, Phoenician, Canaanite, Hebrew, Lybian,
Celtic, or any other alphabet-language, its importance has been greatly

Obvious to a child; obvious to any mentality not helplessly subjected to
a system:

That just therein lies the importance of this object.

It is said that an ideal of science is to find out the new--but, unless
a thing be of the old, it is "unimportant."

"It is not worth while." (Hovey.)

Then the inscribed ax, or wedge, which, according to Dr. John C. Evans,
in a communication to the American Ethnological Society, was plowed up,
near Pemberton, N.J., 1859. The characters upon this ax, or wedge, are
strikingly similar to the characters on the Grave Creek stone. Also,
with a little disregard here and a little more there, they look like
tracks in the snow by someone who's been out celebrating, or like your
handwriting, or mine, when we think there's a certain distinction in
illegibility. Method of disregard: anything's anything.

Dr. Abbott describes this object in the _Report of the Smithsonian
Institution_, 1875-260.

He says he has no faith in it.

All progress is from the outrageous to the commonplace. Or
quasi-existence proceeds from rape to the crooning of lullabies. It's
been interesting to me to go over various long-established periodicals
and note controversies between attempting positivists and then
intermediatistic issues. Bold, bad intruders of theories; ruffians with
dishonorable intentions--the alarms of Science; her attempts to preserve
that which is dearer than life itself--submission--then a fidelity like
Mrs. Micawber's. So many of these ruffians, or wandering comedians that
were hated, or scorned, pitied, embraced, conventionalized. There's not
a notion in this book that has a more frightful, or ridiculous, mien
than had the notion of human footprints in rocks, when that now
respectabilized ruffian, or clown, was first heard from. It seems
bewildering to one whose interests are not scientific that such rows
should be raised over such trifles: but the feeling of a systematist
toward such an intruder is just about what anyone's would be if a tramp
from the street should come in, sit at one's dinner table, and say he
belonged there. We know what hypnosis can do: let him insist with all
his might that he does belong there, and one begins to suspect that he
may be right; that he may have higher perceptions of what's right. The
prohibitionists had this worked out very skillfully.

So the row that was raised over the stone from Grave Creek--but time and
cumulativeness, and the very factor we make so much of--or the power of
massed data. There were other reports of inscribed stones, and then,
half a century later, some mounds--or caches, as we call them--were
opened by the Rev. Mr. Gass, near the city of Davenport. (_American
Antiquarian_, 15-73.) Several stone tablets were found. Upon one of
them, the letters "TFTOWNS" may easily be made out. In this instance we
hear nothing of fraudulency--time, cumulativeness, the power of massed
data. The attempt to assimilate this datum is:

That the tablet was probably of Mormon origin.


Because, at Mendon, Ill., was found a brass plate, upon which were
similar characters.

Why that?

Because that was found "near a house once occupied by a Mormon."

In a real existence, a real meteorologist, suspecting that cinders had
come from a fire engine--would have asked a fireman.

Tablets of Davenport--there's not a record findable that it ever
occurred to any antiquarian--to ask a Mormon.

Other tablets were found. Upon one of them are two "F's" and two "8's."
Also a large tablet, twelve inches by eight to ten inches "with Roman
numerals and Arabic." It is said that the figure "8" occurs three times,
and the figure or letter "O" seven times. "With these familiar
characters are others that resemble ancient alphabets, either
Phoenecian or Hebrew."

It may be that the discovery of Australia, for instance, will turn out
to be less important than the discovery and the meaning of these

But where will you read of them in anything subsequently published; what
antiquarian has ever since tried to understand them, and their presence,
and indications of antiquity, in a land that we're told was inhabited
only by unlettered savages?

These things that are exhumed only to be buried in some other way.

Another tablet was found, at Davenport, by Mr. Charles Harrison,
president of the American Antiquarian Society. "... 8 and other
hieroglyphics are upon this tablet." This time, also, fraud is not
mentioned. My own notion is that it is very unsportsmanlike ever to
mention fraud. Accept anything. Then explain it your way. Anything that
assimilates with one explanation, must have assimilable relations, to
some degree, with all other explanations, if all explanations are
somewhere continuous. Mormons are lugged in again, but the attempt is
faint and helpless--"because general circumstances make it difficult to
explain the presence of these tablets."

Altogether our phantom resistance is mere attribution to the Mormons,
without the slightest attempt to find base for the attribution. We think
of messages that were showered upon this earth, and of messages that
were cached in mounds upon this earth. The similarity to the Franklin
situation is striking. Conceivably centuries from now, objects dropped
from relief-expedition-balloons may be found in the Arctic, and
conceivably there are still undiscovered caches left by Franklin, in the
hope that relief expeditions would find them. It would be as incongruous
to attribute these things to the Eskimos as to attribute tablets and
lettered stones to the aborigines of America. Some time I shall take up
an expression that the queer-shaped mounds upon this earth were built by
explorers from Somewhere, unable to get back, designed to attract
attention from some other world, and that a vast sword-shaped mound has
been discovered upon the moon--Just now we think of lettered things and
their two possible significances.

A bizarre little lost soul, rescued from one of the morgues of the
_American Journal of Science_:

An account, sent by a correspondent, to Prof. Silliman, of something
that was found in a block of marble, taken November, 1829, from a
quarry, near Philadelphia (_Am. J. Sci._, 1-19-361). The block was cut
into slabs. By this process, it is said, was exposed an indentation in
the stone, about one and a half inches by five-eighths of an inch. A
geometric indentation: in it were two definite-looking raised letters,
like "I U": only difference is that the corners of the "U" are not
rounded, but are right angles. We are told that this block of stone came
from a depth of seventy or eighty feet--or that, if acceptable, this
lettering was done long, long ago. To some persons, not sated with the
commonness of the incredible that has to be accepted, it may seem
grotesque to think that an indentation in sand could have tons of other
sand piled upon it and hardening into stone, without being pressed
out--but the famous Nicaraguan footprints were found in a quarry under
eleven strata of solid rock. There was no discussion of this datum. We
only take it out for an airing.

As to lettered stones that may once upon a time have been showered upon
Europe, if we cannot accept that the stones were inscribed by indigenous
inhabitants of Europe, many have been found in caves--whence they were
carried as curiosities by prehistoric men, or as ornaments, I suppose.
About the size and shape of the Grave Creek stone, or disk: "flat and
oval and about two inches wide." (Sollas.) Characters painted upon them:
found first by M. Piette, in the cave of Mas d'Azil, Ariége. According
to Sollas, they are marked in various directions with red and black
lines. "But on not a few of them, more complex characters occur, which
in a few instances simulate some of the capital letters of the Roman
alphabet." In one instance the letters "F E I" accompanied by no other
markings to modify them, are as plain as they could be. According to
Sollas (_Ancient Hunters_, p. 95) M. Cartailhac has confirmed the
observations of Piette, and M. Boule has found additional examples.
"They offer one of the darkest problems of prehistoric times." (Sollas.)

As to caches in general, I should say that they are made with two
purposes: to proclaim and to conceal; or that caches documents are
hidden, or covered over, in conspicuous structures; at least, so are
designed the cairns in the Arctic.

_Trans. N.Y. Acad. of Sciences_, 11-27:

That Mr. J.H. Hooper, Bradley Co., Tenn., having come upon a curious
stone, in some woods upon his farm, investigated. He dug. He unearthed a
long wall. Upon this wall were inscribed many alphabetic characters.
"872 characters have been examined, many of them duplicates, and a few
imitations of animal forms, the moon, and other objects. Accidental
imitations of oriental alphabets are numerous."

The part that seems significant:

That these letters had been hidden under a layer of cement.

And still, in our own heterogeneity, or unwillingness, or inability, to
concentrate upon single concepts, we shall--or we sha'n't--accept that,
though there may have been a Lost Colony or Lost Expedition from
Somewhere, upon this earth, and extra-mundane visitors who could never
get back, there have been other extra-mundane visitors, who have gone
away again--altogether quite in analogy with the Franklin Expedition and
Peary's flittings in the Arctic--

And a wreck that occurred to one group of them--

And the loot that was lost overboard--

The Chinese seals of Ireland.

Not the things with the big, wistful eyes that lie on ice, and that are
taught to balance objects on their noses--but inscribed stamps, with
which to make impressions.

_Proc. Roy. Irish Acad._, 1-381:

A paper was read by Mr. J. Huband Smith, descriptive of about a dozen
Chinese seals that had been found in Ireland. They are all alike: each a
cube with an animal seated upon it. "It is said that the inscriptions
upon them are of a very ancient class of Chinese characters."

The three points that have made a leper and an outcast of this
datum--but only in the sense of disregard, because nowhere that I know
of is it questioned:

Agreement among archaeologists that there were no relations, in the
remote past, between China and Ireland:

That no other objects, from ancient China--virtually, I suppose--have
ever been found in Ireland:

The great distances at which these seals have been found apart.

After Mr. Smith's investigations--if he did investigate, or do more than
record--many more Chinese seals were found in Ireland, and, with one
exception, only in Ireland. In 1852, about 60 had been found. Of all
archaeologic finds in Ireland, "none is enveloped in greater mystery."
(_Chambers' Journal_, 16-364.) According to the writer in _Chambers'
Journal_, one of these seals was found in a curiosity shop in London.
When questioned, the shopkeeper said that it had come from Ireland.

In this instance, if you don't take instinctively to our expression,
there is no orthodox explanation for your preference. It is the
astonishing scattering of them, over field and forest, that has hushed
the explainers. In the _Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy_, 10-171,
Dr. Frazer says that they "appear to have been sown broadcast over the
country in some strange way that I cannot offer solution of."

The struggle for expression of a notion that did not belong to Dr.
Frazer's era:

"The invariable story of their find is what we might expect if they had
been accidentally dropped...."

Three were found in Tipperary; six in Cork; three in Down; four in
Waterford; all the rest--one or two to a county.

But one of these Chinese seals was found in the bed of the River Boyne,
near Clonard, Meath, when workmen were raising gravel.

That one, at least, had been dropped there.



And a watchman looking at half a dozen lanterns, where a street's been
torn up.

There are gas lights and kerosene lamps and electric lights in the
neighborhood: matches flaring, fires in stoves, bonfires, house afire
somewhere; lights of automobiles, illuminated signs--

The watchman and his one little system.


And some young ladies and the dear old professor of a very "select"

Drugs and divorce and rape: venereal diseases, drunkenness, murder--


The prim and the precise, or the exact, the homogeneous, the single, the
puritanic, the mathematic, the pure, the perfect. We can have illusion
of this state--but only by disregarding its infinite denials. It's a
drop of milk afloat in acid that's eating it. The positive swamped by
the negative. So it is in intermediateness, where only to "be" positive
is to generate corresponding and, perhaps, equal negativeness. In our
acceptance, it is, in quasi-existence, premonitory, or pre-natal, or
pre-awakening consciousness of a real existence.

But this consciousness of realness is the greatest resistance to efforts
to realize or to become real--because it is feeling that realness has
been attained. Our antagonism is not to Science, but to the attitude of
the sciences that they have finally realized; or to belief, instead of
acceptance; to the insufficiency, which, as we have seen over and over,
amounts to paltriness and puerility of scientific dogmas and standards.
Or, if several persons start out to Chicago, and get to Buffalo, and one
be under the delusion that Buffalo is Chicago, that one will be a
resistance to the progress of the others.

So astronomy and its seemingly exact, little system--

But data we shall have of round worlds and spindle-shaped worlds, and
worlds shaped like a wheel; worlds like titanic pruning hooks; worlds
linked together by streaming filaments; solitary worlds, and worlds in
hordes: tremendous worlds and tiny worlds: some of them made of material
like the material of this earth; and worlds that are geometric
super-constructions made of iron and steel--

Or not only fall from the sky of ashes and cinders and coke and charcoal
and oily substances that suggest fuel--but the masses of iron that have
fallen upon this earth.

Wrecks and flotsam and fragments of vast iron constructions--

Or steel. Sooner or later we shall have to take up an expression that
fragments of steel have fallen from the sky. If fragments not of iron,
but of steel have fallen upon this earth--

But what would a deep-sea fish learn even if a steel plate of a wrecked
vessel above him should drop and bump him on the nose?

Our submergence in a sea of conventionality of almost impenetrable

Sometimes I'm a savage who has found something on the beach of his
island. Sometimes I'm a deep-sea fish with a sore nose.

The greatest of mysteries:

Why don't they ever come here, or send here, openly?

Of course there's nothing to that mystery if we don't take so seriously
the notion--that we must be interesting. It's probably for moral reasons
that they stay away--but even so, there must be some degraded ones among

Or physical reasons:

When we can specially take up that subject, one of our leading ideas, or
credulities, will be that near approach by another world to this world
would be catastrophic: that navigable worlds would avoid proximity; that
others that have survived have organized into protective remotenesses,
or orbits which approximate to regularity, though by no means to the
degree of popular supposition.

But the persistence of the notion that we must be interesting. Bugs and
germs and things like that: they're interesting to us: some of them are
too interesting.

Dangers of near approach--nevertheless our own ships that dare not
venture close to a rocky shore can send rowboats ashore--

Why not diplomatic relations established between the United States and
Cyclorea--which, in our advanced astronomy, is the name of a remarkable
wheel-shaped world or super-construction? Why not missionaries sent here
openly to convert us from our barbarous prohibitions and other taboos,
and to prepare the way for a good trade in ultra-bibles and
super-whiskeys; fortunes made in selling us cast-off super-fineries,
which we'd take to like an African chief to someone's old silk hat from
New York or London?

The answer that occurs to me is so simple that it seems immediately
acceptable, if we accept that the obvious is the solution of all
problems, or if most of our perplexities consist in laboriously and
painfully conceiving of the unanswerable, and then looking for
answers--using such words as "obvious" and "solution" conventionally--


Would we, if we could, educate and sophisticate pigs, geese, cattle?

Would it be wise to establish diplomatic relation with the hen that now
functions, satisfied with mere sense of achievement by way of

I think we're property.

I should say we belong to something:

That once upon a time, this earth was No-man's Land, that other worlds
explored and colonized here, and fought among themselves for possession,
but that now it's owned by something:

That something owns this earth--all others warned off.

Nothing in our own times--perhaps--because I am thinking of certain
notes I have--has ever appeared upon this earth, from somewhere else, so
openly as Columbus landed upon San Salvador, or as Hudson sailed up his
river. But as to surreptitious visits to this earth, in recent times, or
as to emissaries, perhaps, from other worlds, or voyagers who have shown
every indication of intent to evade and avoid, we shall have data as
convincing as our data of oil or coal-burning aerial super-constructions.

But, in this vast subject, I shall have to do considerable neglecting or
disregarding, myself. I don't see how I can, in this book, take up at
all the subject of possible use of humanity to some other mode of
existence, or the flattering notion that we can possibly be worth

Pigs, geese, and cattle.

First find out that they are owned.

Then find out the whyness of it.

I suspect that, after all, we're useful--that among contesting
claimants, adjustment has occurred, or that something now has a legal
right to us, by force, or by having paid out analogues of beads for us
to former, more primitive, owners of us--all others warned off--that all
this has been known, perhaps for ages, to certain ones upon this earth,
a cult or order, members of which function like bellwethers to the rest
of us, or as superior slaves or overseers, directing us in accordance
with instructions received--from Somewhere else--in our mysterious

But I accept that, in the past, before proprietorship was established,
inhabitants of a host of other worlds have--dropped here, hopped here,
wafted, sailed, flown, motored--walked here, for all I know--been pulled
here, been pushed; have come singly, have come in enormous numbers; have
visited occasionally, have visited periodically for hunting, trading,
replenishing harems, mining: have been unable to stay here, have
established colonies here, have been lost here; far-advanced peoples, or
things, and primitive peoples or whatever they were: white ones, black
ones, yellow ones--

I have a very convincing datum that the ancient Britons were blue ones.

Of course we are told by conventional anthropologists that they only
painted themselves blue, but in our own advanced anthropology, they were
veritable blue ones--

_Annals of Philosophy_, 14-51:

Note of a blue child born in England.

That's atavism.

Giants and fairies. We accept them, of course. Or, if we pride ourselves
upon being awfully far-advanced, I don't know how to sustain our conceit
except by very largely going far back. Science of today--the
superstition of tomorrow. Science of tomorrow--the superstition of

Notice of a stone ax, 17 inches long: 9 inches across broad end. (_Proc.
Soc. of Ants. of Scotland_, 1-9-184.)

_Amer. Antiquarian_, 18-60:

Copper ax from an Ohio mound: 22 inches long; weight 38 pounds.

_Amer. Anthropologist_, n.s., 8-229:

Stone ax found at Birchwood, Wisconsin--exhibited in the collection of
the Missouri Historical Society--found with "the pointed end embedded in
the soil"--for all I know, may have dropped there--28 inches long, 14
wide, 11 thick--weight 300 pounds.

Or the footprints, in sandstone, near Carson, Nevada--each print 18 to
20 inches long. (_Amer. Jour. Sci._, 3-26-139.)

These footprints are very clear and well-defined: reproduction of them
in the _Journal_--but they assimilate with the System, like sour apples
to other systems: so Prof. Marsh, a loyal and unscrupulous systematist,

"The size of these footprints and specially the width between the right
and left series, are strong evidence that they were not made by men, as
has been so generally supposed."

So these excluders. Stranglers of Minerva. Desperadoes of disregard.
Above all, or below all, the anthropologists. I'm inspired with a new
insult--someone offends me: I wish to express almost absolute contempt
for him--he's a systematistic anthropologist. Simply to read something
of this kind is not so impressive as to see for one's self: if anyone
will take the trouble to look up these footprints, as pictured in the
_Journal_, he will either agree with Prof. Marsh or feel that to deny
them is to indicate a mind as profoundly enslaved by a system as was
ever the humble intellect of a medieval monk. The reasoning of this
representative phantom of the chosen, or of the spectral appearances who
sit in judgment, or condemnation, upon us of the more nearly real:

That there never were giants upon this earth, because gigantic
footprints are more gigantic than prints made by men who are not giants.

We think of giants as occasional visitors to this earth. Of
course--Stonehenge, for instance. It may be that, as time goes on, we
shall have to admit that there are remains of many tremendous
habitations of giants upon this earth, and that their appearances here
were more than casual--but their bones--or the absence of their bones--

Except--that, no matter how cheerful and unsuspicious my disposition may
be, when I go to the American Museum of Natural History, dark cynicisms
arise the moment I come to the fossils--or old bones that have been
found upon this earth--gigantic things--that have been reconstructed
into terrifying but "proper" dinosaurs--but my uncheerfulness--

The dodo did it.

On one of the floors below the fossils, they have a reconstructed dodo.
It's frankly a fiction: it's labeled as such--but it's been
reconstructed so cleverly and so convincingly--


"Fairy crosses."

_Harper's Weekly_, 50-715:

That, near the point where the Blue Ridge and the Allegheny Mountains
unite, north of Patrick County, Virginia, many little stone crosses have
been found.

A race of tiny beings.

They crucified cockroaches.

Exquisite beings--but the cruelty of the exquisite. In their diminutive
way they were human beings. They crucified.

The "fairy crosses," we are told in _Harper's Weekly_, range in weight
from one-quarter of an ounce to an ounce: but it is said, in the
_Scientific American_, 79-395, that some of them are no larger than the
head of a pin.

They have been found in two other states, but all in Virginia are
strictly localized on and along Bull Mountain.

We are reminded of the Chinese seals in Ireland.

I suppose they fell there.

Some are Roman crosses, some St. Andrew's, some Maltese. This time we
are spared contact with the anthropologists and have geologists instead,
but I am afraid that the relief to our finer, or more nearly real,
sensibilities will not be very great. The geologists were called upon to
explain the "fairy crosses." Their response was the usual scientific
tropism--"Geologists say that they are crystals." The writer in
_Harper's Weekly_ points out that this "hold up," or this anæsthetic, if
theoretic science be little but attempt to assuage pangs of the
unexplained, fails to account for the localized distributions of these
objects--which make me think of both aggregation and separation at the
bottom of the sea, if from a wrecked ship, similar objects should fall
in large numbers but at different times.

But some are Roman crosses, some St. Andrew's, some Maltese.

Conceivably there might be a mineral that would have a diversity of
geometric forms, at the same time restricted to some expression of the
cross, because snowflakes, for instance, have diversity but restriction
to the hexagon, but the guilty geologists, cold-blooded as astronomers
and chemists and all the other deep-sea fishes--though less profoundly
of the pseudo-saved than the wretched anthropologists--disregarded the
very datum--that it was wise to disregard:

That the "fairy crosses" are not all made of the same material.

It's the same old disregard, or it's the same old psycho-tropism, or
process of assimilation. Crystals are geometric forms. Crystals are
included in the System. So then "fairy crosses" are crystals. But that
different minerals should, in a few different regions, be inspired to
turn into different forms of the cross--is the kind of resistance that
we call less nearly real than our own acceptances.

We now come to some "cursed" little things that are of the "lost," but
for the "salvation" of which scientific missionaries have done their

"Pigmy flints."

They can't very well be denied.

They're lost and well known.

"Pigmy flints" are tiny, prehistoric implements. Some of them are a
quarter of an inch in size. England, India, France, South
Africa--they've been found in many parts of the world--whether showered
there or not. They belong high up in the froth of the accursed: they are
not denied, and they have not been disregarded; there is an abundant
literature upon this subject. One attempt to rationalize them, or
assimilate them, or take them into the scientific fold, has been the
notion that they were toys of prehistoric children. It sounds
reasonable. But, of course, by the reasonable we mean that for which the
equally reasonable, but opposing, has not been found out--except that we
modify that by saying that, though nothing's finally reasonable, some
phenomena have higher approximations to Reasonableness than have others.
Against the notion of toys, the higher approximation is that where
"pygmy flints" are found, all flints are pygmies--at least so in India,
where, when larger implements have been found in the same place, there
are separations by strata. (Wilson.)

The datum that, just at present, leads me to accept that these flints
were made by beings about the size of pickles, is a point brought out by
Prof. Wilson (_Rept. National Museum_, 1892-455):

Not only that the flints are tiny but that the chipping upon them is

Struggle for expression, in the mind of a 19th-century-ite, of an idea
that did not belong to his era:

In _Science Gossip_, 1896-36, R.A. Galty says:

"So fine is the chipping that to see the workmanship a magnifying glass
is necessary."

I think that would be absolutely convincing, if there were
anything--absolutely anything--either that tiny beings, from pickle to
cucumber-stature, made these things, or that ordinary savages made them
under magnifying glasses.

The idea that we are now going to develop, or perpetrate, is rather
intensely of the accursed, or the advanced. It's a lost soul, I
admit--or boast--but it fits in. Or, as conventional as ever, our own
method is the scientific method of assimilating. It assimilates, if we
think of the inhabitants of Elvera--

By the way, I forgot to tell the name of the giant's world:


Spindle-shaped world--about 100,000 miles along its major axis--more
details to be published later.

But our coming inspiration fits in, if we think of the inhabitants of
Elvera as having only visited here: having, in hordes as dense as clouds
of bats, come here, upon hunting excursions--for mice, I should say: for
bees, very likely--or most likely of all, or inevitably, to convert the
heathen here--horrified with anyone who would gorge himself with more
than a bean at a time; fearful for the souls of beings who would guzzle
more than a dewdrop at a time--hordes of tiny missionaries, determined
that right should prevail, determining right by their own minutenesses.

They must have been missionaries.

Only to be is motion to convert or assimilate something else.

The idea now is that tiny creatures coming here from their own little
world, which may be Eros, though I call it Elvera, would flit from the
exquisite to the enormous--gulp of a fair-sized terrestrial animal--half
a dozen of them gone and soon digested. One falls into a brook--torn
away in a mighty torrent--

Or never anything but conventional, we adopt from Darwin:

"The geological records are incomplete."

Their flints would survive, but, as to their fragile bodies--one might
as well search for prehistoric frost-traceries. A little
whirlwind--Elverean carried away a hundred yards--body never found by
his companions. They'd mourn for the departed. Conventional emotion to
have: they'd mourn. There'd have to be a funeral: there's no getting
away from funerals. So I adopt an explanation that I take from the
anthropologists: burial in effigy. Perhaps the Elvereans would not come
to this earth again until many years later--another distressing
occurrence--one little mausoleum for all burials in effigy.

London _Times_, July 20, 1836:

That, early in July, 1836, some boys were searching for rabbits' burrows
in the rocky formation, near Edinburgh, known as Arthur's Seat. In the
side of a cliff, they came upon some thin sheets of slate, which they
pulled out.

Little cave.

Seventeen tiny coffins.

Three or four inches long.

In the coffins were miniature wooden figures. They were dressed
differently both in style and material. There were two tiers of eight
coffins each, and a third tier begun, with one coffin.

The extraordinary datum, which has especially made mystery here:

That the coffins had been deposited singly, in the little cave, and at
intervals of many years. In the first tier, the coffins were quite
decayed, and the wrappings had moldered away. In the second tier, the
effects of age had not advanced so far. And the top coffin was quite

In the _Proceedings of the Society of Antiquarians of Scotland_,
3-12-460, there is a full account of this find. Three of the coffins and
three of the figures are pictured.

So Elvera with its downy forests and its microscopic oyster shells--and
if the Elvereans be not very far-advanced, they take baths--with sponges
the size of pin heads--

Or that catastrophes have occurred: that fragments of Elvera have fallen
to this earth:

In _Popular Science_, 20-83, Francis Bingham, writing of the corals and
sponges and shells and crinoids that Dr. Hahn had asserted that he had
found in meteorites, says, judging by the photographs of them, that
their "notable peculiarity" is their "extreme smallness." The corals,
for instance, are about one-twentieth the size of terrestrial corals.
"They represent a veritable pygmy animal world," says Bingham.

The inhabitants of Monstrator and Elvera were primitives, I think, at
the time of their occasional visits to this earth--though, of course, in
a quasi-existence, anything that we semi-phantoms call evidence of
anything may be just as good evidence of anything else. Logicians and
detectives and jurymen and suspicious wives and members of the Royal
Astronomic Society recognize this indeterminateness, but have the
delusion that in the method of agreement there is final, or real
evidence. The method is good enough for an "existence" that is only
semi-real, but also it is the method of reasoning by which witches were
burned, and by which ghosts have been feared. I'd not like to be so
unadvanced as to deny witches and ghosts, but I do think that there
never have been witches and ghosts like those of popular supposition.
But stories of them have been supported by astonishing fabrications of
details and of different accounts in agreement.

So, if a giant left impressions of his bare feet in the ground, that is
not to say that he was a primitive--bulk of culture out taking the
Kneipp cure. So, if Stonehenge is a large, but only roughly geometric
construction, the inattention to details by its builders--signifies
anything you please--ambitious dwarfs or giants--if giants, that they
were little more than cave men, or that they were post-impressionist
architects from a very far-advanced civilization.

If there are other worlds, there are tutelary worlds--or that Kepler,
for instance, could not have been absolutely wrong: that his notion of
an angel assigned to push along and guide each planet may not be very
acceptable, but that, abstractedly, or in the notion of a tutelary
relation, we may find acceptance.

Only to be is to be tutelary.

Our general expression:

That "everything" in Intermediateness is not a thing, but is an endeavor
to become something--by breaking away from its continuity, or merging
away, with all other phenomena--is an attempt to break away from the
very essence of a relative existence and become absolute--if it have not
surrendered to, or become part of, some higher attempt:

That to this process there are two aspects:

Attraction, or the spirit of everything to assimilate all other
things--if it have not given in and subordinated to--or have not been
assimilated by--some higher attempted system, unity, organization,
entity, harmony, equilibrium--

And repulsion, or the attempt of everything to exclude or disregard the

Universality of the process:

Anything conceivable:

A tree. It is doing all it can to assimilate substances of the soil and
substances of the air, and sunshine, too, into tree-substance: obversely
it is rejecting or excluding or disregarding that which it cannot

Cow grazing, pig rooting, tiger stalking: planets trying, or acting, to
capture comets; rag pickers and the Christian religion, and a cat down
headfirst in a garbage can; nations fighting for more territory,
sciences correlating the data they can, trust magnates organizing,
chorus girl out for a little late supper--all of them stopped somewhere
by the unassimilable. Chorus girl and the broiled lobster. If she eats
not shell and all she represents universal failure to positivize. Also,
if she does she represents universal failure to positivize: her ensuing
disorders will translate her to the Negative Absolute.

Or Science and some of our cursed hard-shelled data.

One speaks of the tutelarian as if it were something distinct in itself.
So one speaks of a tree, a saint, a barrel of pork, the Rocky Mountains.
One speaks of missionaries, as if they were positively different, or had
identity of their own, or were a species by themselves. To the
Intermediatist, everything that seems to have identity is only attempted
identity, and every species is continuous with all other species, or
that which is called the specific is only emphasis upon some aspect of
the general. If there are cats, they're only emphasis upon universal
felinity. There is nothing that does not partake of that of which the
missionary, or the tutelary, is the special. Every conversation is a
conflict of missionaries, each trying to convert the other, to
assimilate, or to make the other similar to himself. If no progress be
made, mutual repulsion will follow.

If other worlds have ever in the past had relations with this earth,
they were attempted positivizations: to extend themselves, by colonies,
upon this earth; to convert, or assimilate, indigenous inhabitants of
this earth.

Or parent-worlds and their colonies here--


Or where the first Romans came from.

It's as good as the Romulus and Remus story.


Or that, despite modern reasoning upon this subject, there was once
something that was super-parental or tutelary to early orientals.

Azuria, which was tutelary to the early Britons:

Azuria, whence came the blue Britons, whose descendants gradually
diluting, like blueing in a wash-tub, where a faucet's turned on, have
been most emphasized of sub-tutelarians, or assimilators ever since.

Worlds that were once tutelarian worlds--before this earth became
sole property of one of them--their attempts to convert or
assimilate--but then the state that comes to all things in their
missionary-frustrations--unacceptance by all stomachs of some things;
rejection by all societies of some units; glaciers that sort over and
cast out stones--

Repulsion. Wrath of the baffled missionary. There is no other wrath. All
repulsion is reaction to the unassimilable.

So then the wrath of Azuria--

Because surrounding peoples of this earth would not assimilate with her
own colonists in the part of the earth that we now call England.

I don't know that there has ever been more nearly just, reasonable, or
logical wrath, in this earth's history--if there is no other wrath.

The wrath of Azuria, because the other peoples of this earth would not
turn blue to suit her.

History is a department of human delusion that interests us. We are able
to give a little advancement to history. In the vitrified forts of a few
parts of Europe, we find data that the Humes and Gibbons have

The vitrified forts surrounding England, but not in England.

The vitrified forts of Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, and Bohemia.

Or that, once upon a time, with electric blasts, Azuria tried to swipe
this earth clear of the peoples who resisted her.

The vast blue bulk of Azuria appeared in the sky. Clouds turned green.
The sun was formless and purple in the vibrations of wrath that were
emanating from Azuria. The whitish, or yellowish, or brownish peoples of
Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, and Bohemia fled to hilltops and built
forts. In a real existence, hilltops, or easiest accessibility to an
aerial enemy, would be the last choice in refuges. But here, in
quasi-existence, if we're accustomed to run to hilltops, in times of
danger, we run to them just the same, even with danger closest to
hilltops. Very common in quasi-existence: attempt to escape by running
closer to the pursuing.

They built forts, or already had forts, on hilltops.

Something poured electricity upon them.

The stones of these forts exist to this day, vitrified, or melted and
turned to glass.

The archaeologists have jumped from one conclusion to another, like the
"rapid chamois" we read of a while ago, to account for vitrified forts,
always restricted by the commandment that unless their conclusions
conformed to such tenets as Exclusionism, of the System, they would be
excommunicated. So archaeologists, in their medieval dread of
excommunication, have tried to explain vitrified forts in terms of
terrestrial experience. We find in their insufficiencies the same old
assimilating of all that could be assimilated, and disregard for the
unassimilable, conventionalizing into the explanation that vitrified
forts were made by prehistoric peoples who built vast fires--often
remote from wood-supply--to melt externally, and to cement together, the
stones of their constructions. But negativeness always: so within itself
a science can never be homogeneous or unified or harmonious. So Miss
Russel, in the _Journal of the B.A.A._, has pointed out that it is
seldom that single stones, to say nothing of long walls, of large houses
that are burned to the ground, are vitrified.

If we pay a little attention to this subject, ourselves, before starting
to write upon it, which is one of the ways of being more nearly real
than oppositions so far encountered by us, we find:

That the stones of these forts are vitrified in no reference to
cementing them: that they are cemented here and there, in streaks, as if
special blasts had struck, or played, upon them.

Then one thinks of lightning?

Once upon a time something melted, in streaks, the stones of forts on
the tops of hills in Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, and Bohemia.

Lightning selects the isolated and conspicuous.

But some of the vitrified forts are not upon tops of hills: some are
very inconspicuous: their walls too are vitrified in streaks.

Something once had effect, similar to lightning, upon forts, mostly on
hills, in Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, and Bohemia.

But upon hills, all over the rest of the world, are remains of forts
that are not vitrified.

There is only one crime, in the local sense, and that is not to turn
blue, if the gods are blue: but, in the universal sense, the one crime
is not to turn the gods themselves green, if you're green.


One of the most extraordinary of phenomena, or alleged phenomena, of
psychic research, or alleged research--if in quasi-existence there never
has been real research, but only approximations to research that merge
away, or that are continuous with, prejudice and convenience--


It's attributed to poltergeists. They're mischievous spirits.

Poltergeists do not assimilate with our own present quasi-system, which
is an attempt to correlate denied or disregarded data as phenomena of
extra-telluric forces, expressed in physical terms. Therefore I regard
poltergeists as evil or false or discordant or absurd--names that we
give to various degrees or aspects of the unassimilable, or that which
resists attempts to organize, harmonize, systematize, or, in short, to
positivize--names that we give to our recognitions of the negative
state. I don't care to deny poltergeists, because I suspect that later,
when we're more enlightened, or when we widen the range of our
credulities, or take on more of that increase of ignorance that is
called knowledge, poltergeists may become assimilable. Then they'll be
as reasonable as trees. By reasonableness I mean that which assimilates
with a dominant force, or system, or a major body of thought--which is,
itself, of course, hypnosis and delusion--developing, however, in our
acceptance, to higher and higher approximations to realness. The
poltergeists are now evil or absurd to me, proportionately to their
present unassimilableness, compounded, however, with the factor of their
possible future assimilableness.

We lug in the poltergeists, because some of our own data, or alleged
data, merge away indistinguishably with data, or alleged data, of them:

Instances of stones that have been thrown, or that have fallen, upon a
small area, from an unseen and undetectable source.

London _Times_, April 27, 1872:

"From 4 o'clock, Thursday afternoon, until half past eleven, Thursday
night, the houses, 56 and 58 Reverdy Road, Bermondsey, were assailed
with stones and other missiles coming from an unseen quarter. Two
children were injured, every window broken, and several articles of
furniture were destroyed. Although there was a strong body of policemen
scattered in the neighborhood, they could not trace the direction whence
the stones were thrown."

"Other missiles" make a complication here. But if the expression means
tin cans and old shoes, and if we accept that the direction could not be
traced because it never occurred to anyone to look upward--why, we've
lost a good deal of our provincialism by this time.

London _Times_, Sept. 16, 1841:

That, in the home of Mrs. Charton, at Sutton Courthouse, Sutton Lane,
Chiswick, windows had been broken "by some unseen agent." Every attempt
to detect the perpetrator failed. The mansion was detached and
surrounded by high walls. No other building was near it.

The police were called. Two constables, assisted by members of the
household, guarded the house, but the windows continued to be broken
"both in front and behind the house."

Or the floating islands that are often stationary in the Super-Sargasso
Sea; and atmospheric disturbances that sometimes affect them, and bring
things down within small areas, upon this earth, from temporarily
stationary sources.

Super-Sargasso Sea and the beaches of its floating islands from which I
think, or at least accept, pebbles have fallen:

Wolverhampton, England, June, 1860--violent storm--fall of so many
little black pebbles that they were cleared away by shoveling (_La Sci.
Pour Tous_, 5-264); great number of small black stones that fell at
Birmingham, England, August, 1858--violent storm--said to be similar to
some basalt a few leagues from Birmingham (_Rept. Brit. Assoc._,
1864-37); pebbles described as "common water-worn pebbles" that fell at
Palestine, Texas, July 6, 1888--"of a formation not found near
Palestine" (W.H. Perry, Sergeant, Signal Corps, _Monthly Weather
Review_, July, 1888); round, smooth pebbles at Kandahor, 1834 (_Am. J.
Sci._, 1-26-161); "a number of stones of peculiar formation and shapes,
unknown in this neighborhood, fell in a tornado at Hillsboro, Ill., May
18, 1883." (_Monthly Weather Review_, May, 1883.)

Pebbles from aerial beaches and terrestrial pebbles as products of
whirlwinds, so merge in these instances that, though it's interesting to
hear of things of peculiar shape that have fallen from the sky, it seems
best to pay little attention here, and to find phenomena of the
Super-Sargasso Sea remote from the merger:

To this requirement we have three adaptations:

Pebbles that fell where no whirlwind to which to attribute them could be
learned of:

Pebbles which fell in hail so large that incredibly could that hail have
been formed in this earth's atmosphere:

Pebbles which fell and were, long afterward, followed by more pebbles,
as if from some aerial, stationary source, in the same place. In
September, 1898, there was a story in a New York newspaper, of
lightning--or an appearance of luminosity?--in Jamaica--something had
struck a tree: near the tree were found some small pebbles. It was said
that the pebbles had fallen from the sky, with the lightning. But the
insult to orthodoxy was that they were not angular fragments such as
might have been broken from a stony meteorite: that they were
"water-worn pebbles."

In the geographical vagueness of a mainland, the explanation "up from
one place and down in another" is always good, and is never overworked,
until the instances are massed as they are in this book: but, upon this
occasion, in the relatively small area of Jamaica, there was no
whirlwind findable--however "there in the first place" bobs up.

_Monthly Weather Review_, August, 1898-363:

That the government meteorologist had investigated: had reported that a
tree had been struck by lightning, and that small water-worn pebbles had
been found near the tree: but that similar pebbles could be found all
over Jamaica.

_Monthly Weather Review_, September, 1915-446:

Prof. Fassig gives an account of a fall of hail that occurred in
Maryland, June 22, 1915: hailstones the size of baseballs "not at all

"An interesting, but unconfirmed, account stated that small pebbles were
found at the center of some of the larger hail gathered at Annapolis.
The young man who related the story offered to produce the pebbles, but
has not done so."

A footnote:

"Since writing this, the author states that he has received some of the

When a young man "produces" pebbles, that's as convincing as anything
else I've ever heard of, though no more convincing than, if having told
of ham sandwiches falling from the sky, he should "produce" ham
sandwiches. If this "reluctance" be admitted by us, we correlate it with
a datum reported by a Weather Bureau observer, signifying that, whether
the pebbles had been somewhere aloft a long time or not, some of the
hailstones that fell with them, had been. The datum is that some of
these hailstones were composed of from twenty to twenty-five layers
alternately of clear ice and snow-ice. In orthodox terms I argue that a
fair-sized hailstone falls from the clouds with velocity sufficient to
warm it so that it would not take on even one layer of ice. To put on
twenty layers of ice, I conceive of something that had not fallen at
all, but had rolled somewhere, at a leisurely rate, for a long time.

We now have a commonplace datum that is familiar in two respects:

Little, symmetric objects of metal that fell at Orenburg, Russia,
September, 1824 (_Phil. Mag._, 4-8-463).

A second fall of these objects, at Orenburg, Russia, Jan. 25, 1825
(_Quar. Jour. Roy. Inst._, 1828-1-447).

I now think of the disk of Tarbes, but when first I came upon these data
I was impressed only with recurrence, because the objects of Orenburg
were described as crystals of pyrites, or sulphate of iron. I had no
notion of metallic objects that might have been shaped or molded by
means other than crystallization, until I came to Arago's account of
these occurrences (_OEuvres_, 11-644). Here the analysis gives 70 per
cent. red oxide of iron, and sulphur and loss by ignition 5 per cent. It
seems to me acceptable that iron with considerably less than 5 per cent.
sulphur in it is not iron pyrites--then little, rusty iron objects,
shaped by some other means, have fallen, four months apart, at the same
place. M. Arago expresses astonishment at this phenomenon of recurrence
so familiar to us.

Altogether, I find opening before us, vistas of heresies to which I, for
one, must shut my eyes. I have always been in sympathy with the
dogmatists and exclusionists: that is plain in our opening lines: that
to seem to be is falsely and arbitrarily and dogmatically to exclude. It
is only that exclusionists who are good in the nineteenth century are
evil in the twentieth century. Constantly we feel a merging away into
infinitude; but that this book shall approximate to form, or that our
data shall approximate to organization, or that we shall approximate to
intelligibility, we have to call ourselves back constantly from
wandering off into infinitude. The thing that we do, however, is to make
our own outline, or the difference between what we include and what we
exclude, vague.

The crux here, and the limit beyond which we may not go--very much--is:

Acceptance that there is a region that we call the Super-Sargasso
Sea--not yet fully accepted, but a provisional position that has
received a great deal of support--

But is it a part of this earth, and does it revolve with and over this

Or does it flatly overlie this earth, not revolving with and over this

That this earth does not revolve, and is not round, or roundish, at all,
but is continuous with the rest of its system, so that, if one could
break away from the traditions of the geographers, one might walk and
walk, and come to Mars, and then find Mars continuous with Jupiter?

I suppose some day such queries will sound absurd--the thing will be so

Because it is very difficult for me to conceive of little metallic
objects hanging precisely over a small town in Russia, for four months,
if revolving, unattached, with a revolving earth--

It may be that something aimed at that town, and then later took another

These are speculations that seem to me to be evil relatively to these
early years in the twentieth century--

Just now, I accept that this earth is--not round, of course: that is
very old-fashioned--but roundish, or, at least, that it has what is
called form of its own, and does revolve upon its axis, and in an orbit
around the sun. I only accept these old traditional notions--

And that above it are regions of suspension that revolve with it: from
which objects fall, by disturbances of various kinds, and then, later,
fall again, in the same place:

_Monthly Weather Review_, May, 1884-134:

Report from the Signal Service observer, at Bismarck, Dakota:

That, at 9 o'clock, in the evening of May 22, 1884, sharp sounds were
heard throughout the city, caused by a fall of flinty stones striking
against windows.

Fifteen hours later another fall of flinty stones occurred at Bismarck.

There is no report of stones having fallen anywhere else.

This is a thing of the ultra-damned. All Editors of scientific
publications read the _Monthly Weather Review_ and frequently copy from
it. The noise made by the stones of Bismarck, rattling against those
windows, may be in a language that aviators will some day interpret:
but it was a noise entirely surrounded by silences. Of this ultra-damned
thing, there is no mention, findable by me, in any other publication.

The size of some hailstones has worried many meteorologists--but not
text-book meteorologists. I know of no more serene occupation than that
of writing text-books--though writing for the _War Cry_, of the
Salvation Army, may be equally unadventurous. In the drowsy tranquillity
of a text-book, we easily and unintelligently read of dust particles
around which icy rain forms, hailstones, in their fall, then increasing
by accretion--but in the meteorological journals, we read often of
air-spaces nucleating hailstones--

But it's the size of the things. Dip a marble in icy water. Dip and dip
and dip it. If you're a resolute dipper, you will, after a while, have
an object the size of a baseball--but I think a thing could fall from
the moon in that length of time. Also the strata of them. The Maryland
hailstones are unusual, but a dozen strata have often been counted.
Ferrel gives an instance of thirteen strata. Such considerations led
Prof. Schwedoff to argue that some hailstones are not, and cannot, be
generated in this earth's atmosphere--that they come from somewhere
else. Now, in a relative existence, nothing can of itself be either
attractive or repulsive: its effects are functions of its associations
or implications. Many of our data have been taken from very conservative
scientific sources: it was not until their discordant implications, or
irreconcilabilities with the System, were perceived, that
excommunication was pronounced against them.

Prof. Schwedoff's paper was read before the British Association (_Rept.
of 1882_, p. 453).

The implication, and the repulsiveness of the implication to the snug
and tight little exclusionists of 1882--though we hold out that they
were functioning well and ably relatively to 1882--

That there is water--oceans or lakes and ponds, or rivers of it--that
there is water away from, and yet not far-remote from, this earth's
atmosphere and gravitation--

The pain of it:

That the snug little system of 1882 would be ousted from its

A whole new science to learn:

The Science of Super-Geography--

And Science is a turtle that says that its own shell encloses all

So the members of the British Association. To some of them Prof.
Schwedoff's ideas were like slaps on the back of an environment-denying
turtle: to some of them his heresy was like an offering of meat, raw and
dripping, to milk-fed lambs. Some of them bleated like lambs, and some
of them turled like turtles. We used to crucify, but now we ridicule:
or, in the loss of vigor of all progress, the spike has etherealized
into the laugh.

Sir William Thomson ridiculed the heresy, with the phantomosities of his

That all bodies, such as hailstones, if away from this earth's
atmosphere, would have to move at planetary velocity--which would be
positively reasonable if the pronouncements of St. Isaac were anything
but articles of faith--that a hailstone falling through this earth's
atmosphere, with planetary velocity, would perform 13,000 times as much
work as would raise an equal weight of water one degree centigrade, and
therefore never fall as a hailstone at all; be more than

These turls and these bleats of pedantry--though we insist that,
relatively to 1882, these turls and bleats should be regarded as
respectfully as we regard rag dolls that keep infants occupied and
noiseless--it is the survival of rag dolls into maturity that we object
to--so these pious and naïve ones who believed that 13,000 times
something could have--that is, in quasi-existence--an exact and
calculable resultant, whereas there is--in quasi-existence--nothing that
can, except by delusion and convenience, be called a unit, in the first
place--whose devotions to St. Isaac required blind belief in formulas of
falling bodies--

Against data that were piling up, in their own time, of slow-falling
meteorites; "milk warm" ones admitted even by Farrington and Merrill; at
least one icy meteorite nowhere denied by the present orthodoxy, a datum
as accessible to Thomson, in 1882, as it is now to us, because it was an
occurrence of 1860. Beans and needles and tacks and a magnet. Needles
and tacks adhere to and systematize relatively to a magnet, but, if some
beans, too, be caught up, they are irreconcilables to this system and
drop right out of it. A member of the Salvation Army may hear over and
over data that seem so memorable to an evolutionist. It seems remarkable
that they do not influence him--one finds that he cannot remember them.
It is incredible that Sir William Thomson had never heard of
slow-falling, cold meteorites. It is simply that he had no power to
remember such irreconcilabilities.

And then Mr. Symons again. Mr. Symons was a man who probably did more
for the science of meteorology than did any other man of his time:
therefore he probably did more to hold back the science of meteorology
than did any other man of his time. In _Nature_, 41-135, Mr. Symons says
that Prof. Schwedoff's ideas are "very droll."

I think that even more amusing is our own acceptance that, not very far
above this earth's surface, is a region that will be the subject of a
whole new science--super-geography--with which we shall immortalize
ourselves in the resentments of the schoolboys of the future--

Pebbles and fragments of meteors and things from Mars and Jupiter and
Azuria: wedges, delayed messages, cannon balls, bricks, nails, coal and
coke and charcoal and offensive old cargoes--things that coat in ice in
some regions and things that get into areas so warm that they
putrefy--or that there are all the climates of geography in
super-geography. I shall have to accept that, floating in the sky of
this earth, there often are fields of ice as extensive as those on the
Arctic Ocean--volumes of water in which are many fishes and
frogs--tracts of land covered with caterpillars--

Aviators of the future. They fly up and up. Then they get out and walk.
The fishing's good: the bait's right there. They find messages from
other worlds--and within three weeks there's a big trade worked up in
forged messages. Sometime I shall write a guide book to the
Super-Sargasso Sea, for aviators, but just at present there wouldn't be
much call for it.

We now have more of our expression upon hail as a concomitant, or more
data of things that have fallen from the sky, with hail.

In general, the expression is:

These things may have been raised from some other part of the earth's
surface, in whirlwinds, or may not have fallen, and may have been upon
the ground, in the first place--but were the hailstones found with them,
raised from some other part of the earth's surface, or were the
hailstones upon the ground, in the first place?

As I said before, this expression is meaningless as to a few instances;
it is reasonable to think of some coincidence between the fall of hail
and the fall of other things: but, inasmuch as there have been a good
many instances,--we begin to suspect that this is not so much a book
we're writing as a sanitarium for overworked coincidences. If not
conceivably could very large hailstones and lumps of ice form in this
earth's atmosphere, and so then had to come from external regions, then
other things in or accompanying very large hailstones and lumps of ice
came from external regions--which worries us a little: we may be
instantly translated to the Positive Absolute.

_Cosmos_, 13-120, quotes a Virginia newspaper, that fishes said to have
been catfishes, a foot long, some of them, had fallen, in 1853, at
Norfolk, Virginia, with hail.

Vegetable débris, not only nuclear, but frozen upon the surfaces of
large hailstones, at Toulouse, France, July 28, 1874. (_La Science Pour
Tous_, 1874-270.)

Description of a storm, at Pontiac, Canada, July 11, 1864, in which it
is said that it was not hailstones that fell, but "pieces of ice, from
half an inch to over two inches in diameter" (_Canadian Naturalist_,

"But the most extraordinary thing is that a respectable farmer, of
undoubted veracity, says he picked up a piece of hail, or ice, in the
center of which was a small green frog."

Storm at Dubuque, Iowa, June 16, 1882, in which fell hailstones and
pieces of ice (_Monthly Weather Review_, June, 1882):

"The foreman of the Novelty Iron Works, of this city, states that in two
large hailstones melted by him were found small living frogs." But the
pieces of ice that fell upon this occasion had a peculiarity that
indicates--though by as bizarre an indication as any we've had yet--that
they had been for a long time motionless or floating somewhere. We'll
take that up soon.

_Living Age_, 52-186:

That, June 30, 1841, fishes, one of which was ten inches long, fell at
Boston; that, eight days later, fishes and ice fell at Derby.

In Timb's _Year Book_, 1842-275, it is said that, at Derby, the fishes
had fallen in enormous numbers; from half an inch to two inches long,
and some considerably larger. In the _Athenæum_, 1841-542, copied from
the Sheffield _Patriot_, it is said that one of the fishes weighed three
ounces. In several accounts, it is said that, with the fishes, fell many
small frogs and "pieces of half-melted ice." We are told that the frogs
and the fishes had been raised from some other part of the earth's
surface, in a whirlwind; no whirlwind specified; nothing said as to what
part of the earth's surface comes ice, in the month of July--interests
us that the ice is described as "half-melted." In the London _Times_,
July 15, 1841, it is said that the fishes were sticklebacks; that they
had fallen with ice and small frogs, many of which had survived the
fall. We note that, at Dunfermline, three months later (Oct. 7, 1841)
fell many fishes, several inches in length, in a thunderstorm. (London
_Times_, Oct. 12, 1841.)

Hailstones, we don't care so much about. The matter of stratification
seems significant, but we think more of the fall of lumps of ice from
the sky, as possible data of the Super-Sargasso Sea:

Lumps of ice, a foot in circumference, Derbyshire, England, May 12, 1811
(_Annual Register_, 1811-54); cuboidal mass, six inches in diameter,
that fell at Birmingham, 26 days later (Thomson, _Intro. to
Meteorology_, p. 179); size of pumpkins, Bangalore, India, May 22, 1851
(_Rept. Brit. Assoc._, 1855-35); masses of ice of a pound and a half
each, New Hampshire, Aug. 13, 1851 (Lummis, _Meteorology_, p. 129);
masses of ice, size of a man's head, in the Delphos tornado (Ferrel,
_Popular Treatise_, p. 428); large as a man's hand, killing thousands of
sheep, Texas, May 3, 1877 (_Monthly Weather Review_, May, 1877); "pieces
of ice so large that they could not be grasped in one hand," in a
tornado, in Colorado, June 24, 1877 (_Monthly Weather Review_, June,
1877); lumps of ice four and a half inches long, Richmond, England, Aug.
2, 1879 (_Symons' Met. Mag._, 14-100); mass of ice, 21 inches in
circumference that fell with hail, Iowa, June, 1881 (_Monthly Weather
Review_, June, 1881); "pieces of ice" eight inches long, and an inch and
a half thick, Davenport, Iowa, Aug. 30, 1882 (_Monthly Weather Review_,
Aug., 1882); lump of ice size of a brick; weight two pounds, Chicago,
July 12, 1883 (_Monthly Weather Review_, July, 1883); lumps of ice that
weighed one pound and a half each, India, May (?), 1888 (_Nature_,
37-42); lump of ice weighing four pounds, Texas, Dec. 6, 1893 (_Sc.
Am._, 68-58); lumps of ice one pound in weight, Nov. 14, 1901, in a
tornado, Victoria (_Meteorology of Australia_, p. 34).

Of course it is our acceptance that these masses not only accompanied
tornadoes, but were brought down to this earth by tornadoes.

Flammarion, _The Atmosphere_, p. 34:

Block of ice, weighing four and a half pounds that fell at Cazorta,
Spain, June 15, 1829; block of ice, weighing eleven pounds, at Cette,
France, October, 1844; mass of ice three feet long, three feet wide, and
more than two feet thick, that fell, in a storm, in Hungary, May 8,

_Scientific American_, 47-119:

That, according to the _Salina Journal_, a mass of ice weighing about 80
pounds had fallen from the sky, near Salina, Kansas, August, 1882. We
are told that Mr. W.J. Hagler, the North Santa Fé merchant became
possessor of it, and packed it in sawdust in his store.

London _Times_, April 7, 1860:

That, upon the 16th of March, 1860, in a snowstorm, in Upper Wasdale,
blocks of ice, so large that at a distance they looked like a flock of
sheep, had fallen.

_Rept. Brit. Assoc._, 1851-32:

That a mass of ice about a cubic yard in size had fallen at Candeish,
India, 1828.

Against these data, though, so far as I know, so many of them have never
been assembled together before, there is a silence upon the part of
scientific men that is unusual. Our Super-Sargasso Sea may not be an
unavoidable conclusion, but arrival upon this earth of ice from external
regions does seem to be--except that there must be, be it ever so faint,
a merger. It is in the notion that these masses of ice are only
congealed hailstones. We have data against this notion, as applied to
all our instances, but the explanation has been offered, and, it seems
to me, may apply in some instances. In the _Bull. Soc. Astro. de
France_, 20-245, it is said of blocks of ice the size of decanters that
had fallen at Tunis that they were only masses of congealed hailstones.

London _Times_, Aug. 4, 1857.

That a block of ice, described as "pure" ice, weighing 25 pounds, had
been found in the meadow of Mr. Warner, of Cricklewood. There had been a
storm the day before. As in some of our other instances, no one had seen
this object fall from the sky. It was found after the storm: that's all
that can be said about it.

Letter from Capt. Blakiston, communicated by Gen. Sabine, to the Royal
Society (_London Roy. Soc. Proc._, 10-468):

That, Jan. 14, 1860, in a thunderstorm, pieces of ice had fallen upon
Capt. Blakiston's vessel--that it was not hail. "It was not hail, but
irregular-shaped pieces of solid ice of different dimensions, up to the
size of half a brick."

According to the _Advertiser-Scotsman_, quoted by the Edinburgh _New
Philosophical Magazine_, 47-371, an irregular-shaped mass of ice fell at
Ord, Scotland, August, 1849, after "an extraordinary peal of thunder."

It is said that this was homogeneous ice, except in a small part, which
looked like congealed hailstones.

The mass was about 20 feet in circumference.

The story, as told in the London _Times_, Aug. 14, 1849, is that, upon
the evening of the 13th of August, 1849, after a loud peal of thunder, a
mass of ice said to have been 20 feet in circumference, had fallen upon
the estate of Mr. Moffat, of Balvullich, Ross-shire. It is said that
this object fell alone, or without hailstones.

Altogether, though it is not so strong for the Super-Sargasso Sea, I
think this is one of our best expressions upon external origins. That
large blocks of ice could form in the moisture of this earth's
atmosphere is about as likely as that blocks of stone could form in a
dust whirl. Of course, if ice or water comes to this earth from external
sources, we think of at least minute organisms in it, and on, with our
data, to frogs, fishes; on to anything that's thinkable, coming from
external sources. It's of great importance to us to accept that large
lumps of ice have fallen from the sky, but what we desire most--perhaps
because of our interest in its archaeologic and palaeontologic
treasures--is now to be through with tentativeness and probation, and
to take the Super-Sargasso Sea into full acceptance in our more advanced
fold of the chosen of this twentieth century.

In the _Report of the British Association_, 1855-37, it is said that, at
Poorhundur, India, Dec. 11, 1854, flat pieces of ice, many of them
weighing several pounds--each, I suppose--had fallen from the sky. They
are described as "large ice-flakes."

Vast fields of ice in the Super-Arctic regions, or strata, of the
Super-Sargasso Sea. When they break up, their fragments are flake-like.
In our acceptance, there are aerial ice-fields that are remote from this
earth; that break up, fragments grinding against one another, rolling in
vapor and water, of different constituency in different regions, forming
slowly as stratified hailstones--but that there are ice-fields near this
earth, that break up into just such flat pieces of ice as cover any pond
or river when ice of a pond or river is broken, and are sometimes soon
precipitated to the earth, in this familiar flat formation.

_Symons' Met. Mag._, 43-154:

A correspondent writes that, at Braemar, July 2, 1908, when the sky was
clear overhead, and the sun shining, flat pieces of ice fell--from
somewhere. The sun was shining, but something was going on somewhere:
thunder was heard.

Until I saw the reproduction of a photograph in the _Scientific
American_, Feb. 21, 1914, I had supposed that these ice-fields must be,
say, at least ten or twenty miles away from this earth, and invisible,
to terrestrial observers, except as the blurs that have so often been
reported by astronomers and meteorologists. The photograph published by
the _Scientific American_ is of an aggregation supposed to be clouds,
presumably not very high, so clearly detailed are they. The writer says
that they looked to him like "a field of broken ice." Beneath is a
picture of a conventional field of ice, floating ordinarily in water.
The resemblance between the two pictures is striking--nevertheless, it
seems to me incredible that the first of the photographs could be of an
aerial ice-field, or that gravitation could cease to act at only a mile
or so from this earth's surface--


The exceptional: the flux and vagary of all things.

Or that normally this earth's gravitation extends, say, ten or fifteen
miles outward--but that gravitation must be rhythmic.

Of course, in the pseudo-formulas of astronomers, gravitation as a fixed
quantity is essential. Accept that gravitation is a variable force, and
astronomers deflate, with a perceptible hissing sound, into the
punctured condition of economists, biologists, meteorologists, and all
the others of the humbler divinities, who can admittedly offer only
insecure approximations.

We refer all who would not like to hear the hiss of escaping arrogance,
to Herbert Spencer's chapters upon the rhythm of all phenomena.

If everything else--light from the stars, heat from the sun, the winds
and the tides; forms and colors and sizes of animals; demands and
supplies and prices; political opinions and chemic reactions and
religious doctrines and magnetic intensities and the ticking of clocks;
and arrival and departure of the seasons--if everything else is
variable, we accept that the notion of gravitation as fixed and
formulable is only another attempted positivism, doomed, like all other
illusions of realness in quasi-existence. So it is intermediatism to
accept that, though gravitation may approximate higher to invariability
than do the winds, for instance, it must be somewhere between the
Absolutes of Stability and Instability. Here then we are not much
impressed with the opposition of physicists and astronomers, fearing, a
little mournfully, that their language is of expiring sibilations.

So then the fields of ice in the sky, and that, though usually so far
away as to be mere blurs, at times they come close enough to be seen in
detail. For description of what I call a "blur," see _Pop. Sci. News_,
February, 1884--sky, in general, unusually clear, but, near the sun, "a
white, slightly curdled haze, which was dazzlingly bright."

We accept that sometimes fields of ice pass between the sun and the
earth: that many strata of ice, or very thick fields of ice, or
superimposed fields would obscure the sun--that there have been
occasions when the sun was eclipsed by fields of ice:

Flammarion, _The Atmosphere_, p. 394:

That a profound darkness came upon the city of Brussels, June 18, 1839:

There fell flat pieces of ice, an inch long.

Intense darkness at Aitkin, Minn., April 2, 1889: sand and "solid chunks
of ice" reported to have fallen (_Science_, April 19, 1889).

In _Symons' Meteorological Magazine_, 32-172, are outlined rough-edged
but smooth-surfaced pieces of ice that fell at Manassas, Virginia, Aug.
10, 1897. They look as much like the roughly broken fragments of a
smooth sheet of ice--as ever have roughly broken fragments of a smooth
sheet of ice looked. About two inches across, and one inch thick. In
_Cosmos_, 3-116, it is said that, at Rouen, July 5, 1853, fell
irregular-shaped pieces of ice, about the size of a hand, described as
looking as if all had been broken from one enormous block of ice. That,
I think, was an aerial iceberg. In the awful density, or almost absolute
stupidity of the 19th century, it never occurred to anybody to look for
traces of polar bears or of seals upon these fragments.

Of course, seeing what we want to see, having been able to gather these
data only because they are in agreement with notions formed in advance,
we are not so respectful to our own notions as to a similar impression
forced upon an observer who had no theory or acceptance to support. In
general, our prejudices see and our prejudices investigate, but this
should not be taken as an absolute.

_Monthly Weather Review_, July, 1894:

That, from the Weather Bureau, of Portland, Oregon, a tornado, of June
3, 1894, was reported.

Fragments of ice fell from the sky.

They averaged three to four inches square, and about an inch thick. In
length and breadth they had the smooth surfaces required by our
acceptance: and, according to the writer in the _Review_, "gave the
impression of a vast field of ice suspended in the atmosphere, and
suddenly broken into fragments about the size of the palm of the hand."

This datum, profoundly of what we used to call the "damned," or before
we could no longer accept judgment, or cut and dried condemnation by
infants, turtles, and lambs, was copied--but without comment--in the
_Scientific American_, 71-371.

Our theology is something like this:

Of course we ought to be damned--but we revolt against adjudication by
infants, turtles, and lambs.

We now come to some remarkable data in a rather difficult department of
super-geography. Vast fields of aerial ice. There's a lesson to me in
the treachery of the imaginable. Most of our opposition is in the
clearness with which the conventional, but impossible, becomes the
imaginable, and then the resistant to modifications. After it had become
the conventional with me, I conceived clearly of vast sheets of ice, a
few miles above this earth--then the shining of the sun, and the ice
partly melting--that note upon the ice that fell at Derby--water
trickling and forming icicles upon the lower surface of the ice sheet. I
seemed to look up and so clearly visualized those icicles hanging like
stalactites from a flat-roofed cave, in white calcite. Or I looked up at
the under side of an aerial ice-lump, and seemed to see a papillation
similar to that observed by a calf at times. But then--but then--if
icicles should form upon the under side of a sheet of aerial ice, that
would be by the falling of water toward this earth; an icicle is of
course an expression of gravitation--and, if water melting from ice
should fall toward this earth, why not the ice itself fall before an
icicle could have time to form? Of course, in quasi-existence, where
everything is a paradox, one might argue that the water falls, but the
ice does not, because the ice is heavier--that is, in masses. That
notion, I think, belongs in a more advanced course than we are taking at

Our expression upon icicles:

A vast field of aerial ice--it is inert to this earth's gravitation--but
by universal flux and variation, part of it sags closer to this earth,
and is susceptible to gravitation--by cohesion with the main mass, this
part does not fall, but water melting from it does fall, and forms
icicles--then, by various disturbances, this part sometimes falls in
fragments that are protrusive with icicles.

Of the ice that fell, some of it enclosing living frogs, at Dubuque,
Iowa, June 16, 1882, it is said (_Monthly Weather Review_, June, 1882)
that there were pieces from one to seventeen inches in circumference,
the largest weighing one pound and three-quarters--that upon some of
them were icicles half an inch in length. We emphasize that these
objects were not hailstones.

The only merger is that of knobby hailstones, or of large hailstones
with protuberances wrought by crystallization: but that is no merger
with terrestrial phenomena, and such formations are unaccountable to
orthodoxy; or it is incredible that hail could so crystallize--not
forming by accretion--in the fall of a few seconds. For an account of
such hailstones, see _Nature_, 61-594. Note the size--"some of them the
size of turkeys' eggs."

It is our expression that sometimes the icicles themselves have fallen,
as if by concussion, or as if something had swept against the under side
of an aerial ice floe, detaching its papillations.

_Monthly Weather Review_, June, 1889:

That, at Oswego, N.Y., June 11, 1889, according to the Turin (N.Y.)
_Leader_, there fell, in a thunderstorm, pieces of ice that "resembled
the fragments of icicles."

_Monthly Weather Review_, 29-506:

That on Florence Island, St. Lawrence River, Aug. 8, 1901, with ordinary
hail, fell pieces of ice "formed like icicles, the size and shape of
lead pencils that had been cut into sections about three-eighths of an
inch in length."

So our data of the Super-Sargasso Sea, and its Arctic region: and, for
weeks at a time, an ice field may hang motionless over a part of this
earth's surface--the sun has some effect upon it, but not much until
late in the afternoon, I should say--part of it has sagged, but is held
up by cohesion with the main mass--whereupon we have such an occurrence
as would have been a little uncanny to us once upon a time--or fall of
water from a cloudless sky, day after day, in one small part of this
earth's surface, late in the afternoon, when the sun's rays had had time
for their effects:

_Monthly Weather Review_, October, 1886:

That, according to the Charlotte _Chronicle_, Oct. 21, 1886, for three
weeks there had been a fall of water from the sky, in Charlotte, N.C.,
localized in one particular spot, every afternoon, about three o'clock;
that, whether the sky was cloudy or cloudless, the water or rain fell
upon a small patch of land between two trees and nowhere else.

This is the newspaper account, and, as such, it seems in the depths of
the unchosen, either by me or any other expression of the Salvation
Army. The account by the Signal Service observer, at Charlotte,
published in the _Review_, follows:

"An unusual phenomenon was witnessed on the 21st: having been informed
that, for some weeks prior to date, rain had been falling daily, after 3
P.M., on a particular spot, near two trees, corner of 9th and D streets,
I visited the place, and saw precipitation in the form of rain drops at
4:47 and 4:55 P.M., while the sun was shining brightly. On the 22nd, I
again visited the place, and from 4:05 to 4:25 P.M., a light shower of
rain fell from a cloudless sky.... Sometimes the precipitation falls
over an area of half an acre, but always appears to center at these two
trees, and when lightest occurs there only."


We see conventionally. It is not only that we think and act and speak
and dress alike, because of our surrender to social attempt at Entity,
in which we are only super-cellular. We see what it is "proper" that we
should see. It is orthodox enough to say that a horse is not a horse, to
an infant--any more than is an orange an orange to the unsophisticated.
It's interesting to walk along a street sometimes and look at things and
wonder what they'd look like, if we hadn't been taught to see horses and
trees and houses as horses and trees and houses. I think that to
super-sight they are local stresses merging indistinguishably into one
another, in an all-inclusive nexus.

I think that it would be credible enough to say that many times have
Monstrator and Elvera and Azuria crossed telescopic fields of vision,
and were not even seen--because it wouldn't be proper to see them; it
wouldn't be respectable, and it wouldn't be respectful: it would be
insulting to old bones to see them: it would bring on evil influences
from the relics of St. Isaac to see them.

But our data:

Of vast worlds that are orbitless, or that are navigable, or that are
adrift in inter-planetary tides and currents: the data that we shall
have of their approach, in modern times, within five or six miles of
this earth--

But then their visits, or approaches, to other planets, or to other of
the few regularized bodies that have surrendered to the attempted Entity
of this solar system as a whole--

The question that we can't very well evade:

Have these other worlds, or super-constructions, ever been seen by

I think there would not be much approximation to realness in taking
refuge in the notion of astronomers who stare and squint and see only
that which it is respectable and respectful to see. It is all very well
to say that astronomers are hypnotics, and that an astronomer looking at
the moon is hypnotized by the moon, but our acceptance is that the
bodies of this present expression often visit the moon, or cross it, or
are held in temporary suspension near it--then some of them must often
have been within the diameter of an astronomer's hypnosis.

Our general expression:

That, upon the oceans of this earth, there are regularized vessels, but
also that there are tramp vessels:

That, upon the super-ocean, there are regularized planets, but also that
there are tramp worlds:

That astronomers are like mercantile purists who would deny commercial

Our acceptance is that vast celestial vagabonds have been excluded by
astronomers, primarily because their irresponsibilities are an affront
to the pure and the precise, or to attempted positivism; and secondarily
because they have not been seen so very often. The planets steadily
reflect the light of the sun: upon this uniformity a system that we call
Primary Astronomy has been built up; but now the subject-matter of
Advanced Astronomy is data of celestial phenomena that are sometimes
light and sometimes dark, varying like some of the satellites of
Jupiter, but with a wider range. However, light or dark, they have been
seen and reported so often that the only important reason for their
exclusion is--that they don't fit in.

With dark bodies that are probably external to our own solar system, I
have, in the provincialism that no one can escape, not much concern.
Dark bodies afloat in outer space would have been damned a few years
ago, but now they're sanctioned by Prof. Barnard--and, if he says
they're all right, you may think of them without the fear of doing
something wrong or ridiculous--the close kinship we note so often
between the evil and the absurd--I suppose by the ridiculous I mean the
froth of evil. The dark companion of Algol, for instance. Though that's
a clear case of celestial miscegenation, the purists, or positivists,
admit that's so. In the _Proceedings of the National Academy of
Science_, 1915-394, Prof. Barnard writes of an object--he calls it an
"object"--in Cephus. His idea is that there are dark, opaque bodies
outside this solar system. But in the _Astrophysical Journal_, 1916-1,
he modifies into regarding them as "dark nebulæ." That's not so

We accept that Venus, for instance, has often been visited by other
worlds, or by super-constructions, from which come ciders and coke and
coal; that sometimes these things have reflected light and have been
seen from this earth--by professional astronomers. It will be noted that
throughout this chapter our data are accursed Brahmins--as, by hypnosis
and inertia, we keep on and keep on saying, just as a good many of the
scientists of the 19th century kept on and kept on admitting the power
of the system that preceded them--or Continuity would be smashed.
There's a big chance here for us to be instantaneously translated to the
Positive Absolute--oh, well--

What I emphasize here is that our damned data are observations by
astronomers of the highest standing, excommunicated by astronomers of
similar standing--but backed up by the dominant spirit of their era--to
which all minds had to equilibrate or be negligible, unheard, submerged.
It would seem sometimes, in this book, as if our revolts were against
the dogmatisms and pontifications of single scientists of eminence. This
is only a convenience, because it seems necessary to personify. If we
look over _Philosophical Transactions_, or the publications of the Royal
Astronomical Society, for instance, we see that Herschel, for instance,
was as powerless as any boy stargazer, to enforce acceptance of any
observation of his that did not harmonize with the system that was
growing up as independently of him and all other astronomers, as a phase
in the development of an embryo compels all cells to take on appearances
concordantly with the design and the predetermined progress and schedule
of the whole.

Visitors to Venus:

Evans, _Ways of the Planets_, p. 140:

That, in 1645, a body large enough to look like a satellite was seen
near Venus. Four times in the first half of the 18th century, a similar
observation was reported. The last report occurred in 1767.

A large body has been seen--seven times, according to _Science Gossip_,
1886-178--near Venus. At least one astronomer, Houzeau, accepted these
observations and named the--world, planet, super-construction--"Neith."
His views are mentioned "in passing, but without endorsement," in the
_Trans. N.Y. Acad._, 5-249.

Houzeau or someone writing for the magazine-section of a Sunday
newspaper--outer darkness for both alike. A new satellite in this solar
system might be a little disturbing--though the formulas of Laplace,
which were considered final in his day, have survived the admittance of
five or six hundred bodies not included in those formulas--a satellite
to Venus might be a little disturbing, but would be explained--but a
large body approaching a planet--staying awhile--going away--coming back
some other time--anchoring, as it were--

Azuria is pretty bad, but Azuria is no worse than Neith.

_Astrophysical Journal_, 1-127:

A light-reflecting body, or a bright spot near Mars: seen Nov. 25, 1894,
by Prof. Pickering and others, at the Lowell Observatory, above an
unilluminated part of Mars--self-luminous, it would seem--thought to
have been a cloud--but estimated to have been about twenty miles away
from the planet.

Luminous spot seen moving across the disk of Mercury, in 1799, by
Harding and Schroeter. (_Monthly Notices of the R.A.S._, 38-338.)

In the first Bulletin issued by the Lowell Observatory, in 1903, Prof.
Lowell describes a body that was seen on the terminator of Mars, May
20, 1903. On May 27, it was "suspected." If still there, it had moved,
we are told, about 300 miles--"probably a dust cloud."

Very conspicuous and brilliant spots seen on the disk of Mars, October
and November, 1911. (_Popular Astronomy_, Vol. 19, No. 10.)

So one of them accepted six or seven observations that were in
agreement, except that they could not be regularized, upon a
world--planet--satellite--and he gave it a name. He named it "Neith."

Monstrator and Elvera and Azuria and Super-Romanimus--

Or heresy and orthodoxy and the oneness of all quasiness, and our ways
and means and methods are the very same. Or, if we name things that may
not be, we are not of lonely guilt in the nomenclature of absences--

But now Leverrier and "Vulcan."

Leverrier again.

Or to demonstrate the collapsibility of a froth, stick a pin in the
largest bubble of it. Astronomy and inflation: and by inflation we mean
expansion of the attenuated. Or that the science of Astronomy is a
phantom-film distended with myth-stuff--but always our acceptance that
it approximates higher to substantiality than did the system that
preceded it.

So Leverrier and the "planet Vulcan."

And we repeat, and it will do us small good to repeat. If you be of the
masses that the astronomers have hypnotized--being themselves
hypnotized, or they could not hypnotize others--or that the hypnotist's
control is not the masterful power that it is popularly supposed to be,
but only transference of state from one hypnotic to another--

If you be of the masses that the astronomers have hypnotized, you will
not be able even to remember. Ten pages from here, and Leverrier and the
"planet Vulcan" will have fallen from your mind, like beans from a
magnet, or like data of cold meteorites from the mind of a Thomson.

Leverrier and the "planet Vulcan."

And much the good it will do us to repeat.

But at least temporarily we shall have an impression of a historic
fiasco, such as, in our acceptance, could occur only in a

In 1859, Dr. Lescarbault, an amateur astronomer, of Orgères, France,
announced that, upon March 26, of that year, he had seen a body of
planetary size cross the sun. We are in a subject that is now as unholy
to the present system as ever were its own subjects to the system that
preceded it, or as ever were slanders against miracles to the preceding
system. Nevertheless few text-books go so far as quite to disregard this
tragedy. The method of the systematists is slightingly to give a few
instances of the unholy, and dispose of the few. If it were desirable to
them to deny that there are mountains upon this earth, they would record
a few observations upon some slight eminences near Orange, N.J., but say
that commuters, though estimable persons in several ways, are likely to
have their observations mixed. The text-books casually mention a few of
the "supposed" observations upon "Vulcan," and then pass on.

Dr. Lescarbault wrote to Leverrier, who hastened to Orgères--

Because this announcement assimilated with his own calculations upon a
planet between Mercury and the sun--

Because this solar system itself has never attained positiveness in the
aspect of Regularity: there are to Mercury, as there are to Neptune,
phenomena irreconcilable with the formulas, or motions that betray
influence by something else.

We are told that Leverrier "satisfied himself as to the substantial
accuracy of the reported observation." The story of this investigation
is told in _Monthly Notices_, 20-98. It seems too bad to threaten the
naïve little thing with our rude sophistications, but it is amusingly of
the ingenuousness of the age from which present dogmas have survived.
Lescarbault wrote to Leverrier. Leverrier hastened to Orgères. But he
was careful not to tell Lescarbault who he was. Went right in and
"subjected Dr. Lescarbault to a very severe cross-examination"--just the
way you or I may feel at liberty to go into anybody's home and be severe
with people--"pressing him hard step by step"--just as anyone might go
into someone else's house and press him hard, though unknown to the
hard-pressed one. Not until he was satisfied, did Leverrier reveal his
identity. I suppose Dr. Lescarbault expressed astonishment. I think
there's something utopian about this: it's so unlike the
stand-offishness of New York life.

Leverrier gave the name "Vulcan" to the object that Dr. Lescarbault had

By the same means by which he is, even to this day, supposed--by the
faithful--to have discovered Neptune, he had already announced the
probable existence of an Intra-Mercurial body, or group of bodies. He
had five observations besides Lescarbault's upon something that had been
seen to cross the sun. In accordance with the mathematical hypnoses of
his era, he studied these six transits. Out of them he computed elements
giving "Vulcan" a period of about 20 days, or a formula for heliocentric
longitude at any time.

But he placed the time of best observation away up in 1877.

But even so, or considering that he still had probably a good many years
to live, it may strike one that he was a little rash--that is if one has
not gone very deep into the study of hypnoses--that, having "discovered"
Neptune by a method which, in our acceptance, had no more to recommend
it than had once equally well-thought-of methods of witch-finding, he
should not have taken such chances: that if he was right as to Neptune,
but should be wrong as to "Vulcan," his average would be away below that
of most fortune-tellers, who could scarcely hope to do business upon a
fifty per cent. basis--all that the reasoning of a tyro in hypnoses.

The date:

March 22, 1877.

The scientific world was up on its hind legs nosing the sky. The thing
had been done so authoritatively. Never a pope had said a thing with
more of the seeming of finality. If six observations correlated, what
more could be asked? The Editor of _Nature_, a week before the predicted
event, though cautious, said that it is difficult to explain how six
observers, unknown to one another, could have data that could be
formulated, if they were not related phenomena.

In a way, at this point occurs the crisis of our whole book.

Formulas are against us.

But can astronomic formulas, backed up by observations in agreement,
taken many years apart, calculated by a Leverrier, be as meaningless, in
a positive sense, as all other quasi-things that we have encountered so

The preparations they made, before March 22, 1877. In England, the
Astronomer Royal made it the expectation of his life: notified observers
at Madras, Melbourne, Sydney, and New Zealand, and arranged with
observers in Chili and the United States. M. Struve had prepared for
observations in Siberia and Japan--

March 22, 1877--

Not absolutely, hypocritically, I think it's pathetic, myself. If anyone
should doubt the sincerity of Leverrier, in this matter, we note,
whether it has meaning or not, that a few months later he died.

I think we'll take up Monstrator, though there's so much to this subject
that we'll have to come back.

According to the _Annual Register_, 9-120, upon the 9th of August, 1762,
M. de Rostan, of Basle, France, was taking altitudes of the sun, at
Lausanne. He saw a vast, spindle-shaped body, about three of the sun's
digits in breadth and nine in length, advancing slowly across the disk
of the sun, or "at no more than half the velocity with which the
ordinary solar spots move." It did not disappear until the 7th of
September, when it reached the sun's limb. Because of the spindle-like
form, I incline to think of a super-Zeppelin, but another observation,
which seems to indicate that it was a world, is that, though it was
opaque, and "eclipsed the sun," it had around it a kind of
nebulosity--or atmosphere? A penumbra would ordinarily be a datum of a
sun spot, but there are observations that indicate that this object was
at a considerable distance from the sun:

It is recorded that another observer, at Paris, watching the sun, at
this time, had not seen this object:

But that M. Croste, at Sole, about forty-five German leagues northward
from Lausanne, had seen it, describing the same spindle-form, but
disagreeing a little as to breadth. Then comes the important point: that
he and M. de Rostan did not see it upon the same part of the sun. This,
then, is parallax, and, compounded with invisibility at Paris, is great
parallax--or that, in the course of a month, in the summer of 1762, a
large, opaque, spindle-shaped body traversed the disk of the sun, but at
a great distance from the sun. The writer in the _Register_ says: "In a
word, we know of nothing to have recourse to, in the heavens, by which
to explain this phenomenon." I suppose he was not a hopeless addict to
explaining. Extraordinary--we fear he must have been a man of loose
habits in some other respects.

As to us--


In the _Monthly Notices of the R.A.S._, February, 1877, Leverrier, who
never lost faith, up to the last day, gives the six observations upon an
unknown body of planetary size, that he had formulated:

Fritsche, Oct. 10, 1802; Stark, Oct. 9, 1819; De Cuppis, Oct. 30, 1839;
Sidebotham, Nov. 12, 1849; Lescarbault, March 26, 1859; Lummis, March
20, 1862.

If we weren't so accustomed to Science in its essential aspect of
Disregard, we'd be mystified and impressed, like the Editor of _Nature_,
with the formulation of these data: agreement of so many instances would
seem incredible as a coincidence: but our acceptance is that, with just
enough disregard, astronomers and fortune-tellers can formulate
anything--or we'd engage, ourselves, to formulate periodicities in the
crowds in Broadway--say that every Wednesday morning, a tall man, with
one leg and a black eye, carrying a rubber plant, passes the Singer
Building, at quarter past ten o'clock. Of course it couldn't really be
done, unless such a man did have such periodicity, but if some Wednesday
mornings it should be a small child lugging a barrel, or a fat negress
with a week's wash, by ordinary disregard that would be prediction good
enough for the kind of quasi-existence we're in.

So whether we accuse, or whether we think that the word "accuse"
over-dignifies an attitude toward a quasi-astronomer, or mere figment in
a super-dream, our acceptance is that Leverrier never did formulate

That he picked out observations that could be formulated--

That of this type are all formulas--

That, if Leverrier had not been himself helplessly hypnotized, or if he
had had in him more than a tincture of realness, never could he have
been beguiled by such a quasi-process: but that he was hypnotized, and
so extended, or transferred, his condition to others, that upon March
22, 1877, he had this earth bristling with telescopes, with the rigid
and almost inanimate forms of astronomers behind them--

And not a blessed thing of any unusuality was seen upon that day or
succeeding days.

But that the science of Astronomy suffered the slightest in prestige?

It couldn't. The spirit of 1877 was behind it. If, in an embryo, some
cells should not live up to the phenomena of their era, the others will
sustain the scheduled appearances. Not until an embryo enters the
mammalian stage are cells of the reptilian stage false cells.

It is our acceptance that there were many equally authentic reports upon
large planetary bodies that had been seen near the sun; that, of many,
Leverrier picked out six; not then deciding that all the other
observations related to still other large, planetary bodies, but
arbitrarily, or hypnotically, disregarding--or heroically
disregarding--every one of them--that to formulate at all he had to
exclude falsely. The dénouement killed him, I think. I'm not at all
inclined to place him with the Grays and Hitchcocks and Symonses. I'm
not, because, though it was rather unsportsmanlike to put the date so
far ahead, he did give a date, and he did stick to it with such a high

I think Leverrier was translated to the Positive Absolute.

The disregarded:

Observation, of July 26, 1819, by Gruthinson--but that was of two bodies
that crossed the sun together--

_Nature_, 14-469:

That, according to the astronomer, J.R. Hind, Benjamin Scott, City
Chamberlain of London, and Mr. Wray, had, in 1847, seen a body similar
to "Vulcan" cross the sun.

Similar observation by Hind and Lowe, March 12, 1849 (_L'Année
Scientifique_, 1876-9).

_Nature_, 14-505:

Body of apparent size of Mercury, seen, Jan. 29, 1860, by F.A.R. Russell
and four other observers, crossing the sun.

De Vico's observation of July 12, 1837 (_Observatory_, 2-424).

_L'Année Scientifique_, 1865-16:

That another amateur astronomer, M. Coumbray, of Constantinople, had
written to Leverrier, that, upon the 8th of March, 1865, he had seen a
black point, sharply outlined, traverse the disk of the sun. It detached
itself from a group of sun spots near the limb of the sun, and took 48
minutes to reach the other limb. Figuring upon the diagram sent by M.
Coumbray, a central passage would have taken a little more than an hour.
This observation was disregarded by Leverrier, because his formula
required about four times that velocity. The point here is that these
other observations are as authentic as those that Leverrier included;
that, then, upon data as good as the data of "Vulcan," there must be
other "Vulcans"--the heroic and defiant disregard, then, of trying to
formulate one, omitting the others, which, by orthodox doctrine, must
have influenced it greatly, if all were in the relatively narrow space
between Mercury and the sun.

Observation upon another such body, of April 4, 1876, by M. Weber, of
Berlin. As to this observation, Leverrier was informed by Wolf, in
August, 1876 (_L'Année Scientifique_, 1876-7). It made no difference, so
far as can be known, to this notable positivist.

Two other observations noted by Hind and Denning--London _Times_, Nov.
3, 1871, and March 26, 1873.

_Monthly Notices of the R.A.S._, 20-100:

Standacher, February, 1762; Lichtenberg, Nov. 19, 1762; Hoffman, May,
1764; Dangos, Jan. 18, 1798; Stark, Feb. 12, 1820. An observation by
Schmidt, Oct. 11, 1847, is said to be doubtful: but, upon page 192, it
is said that this doubt had arisen because of a mistaken translation,
and two other observations by Schmidt are given: Oct. 14, 1849, and Feb.
18, 1850--also an observation by Lofft, Jan. 6, 1818. Observation by
Steinheibel, at Vienna, April 27, 1820 (_Monthly Notices_, 1862).

Haase had collected reports of twenty observations like Lescarbault's.
The list was published in 1872, by Wolf. Also there are other instances
like Gruthinsen's:

_Amer. Jour. Sci._, 2-28-446:

Report by Pastorff that he had seen twice in 1836, and once in 1837, two
round spots of unequal size moving across the sun, changing position
relatively to each other, and taking a different course, if not orbit,
each time: that, in 1834, he had seen similar bodies pass six times
across the disk of the sun, looking very much like Mercury in his

March 22, 1876--

But to point out Leverrier's poverty-stricken average--or discovering
planets upon a fifty per cent. basis--would be to point out the low
percentage of realness in the quasi-myth-stuff of which the whole system
is composed. We do not accuse the text-books of omitting this fiasco,
but we do note that theirs is the conventional adaptation here of all
beguilers who are in difficulties--

The diverting of attention.

It wouldn't be possible in a real existence, with real mentality, to
deal with, but I suppose it's good enough for the quasi-intellects that
stupefy themselves with text-books. The trick here is to gloss over
Leverrier's mistake, and blame Lescarbault--he was only an amateur--had
delusions. The reader's attention is led against Lescarbault by a report
from M. Lias, director of the Brazilian Coast Survey, who, at the time
of Lescarbault's "supposed" observation had been watching the sun in
Brazil, and, instead of seeing even ordinary sun spots, had noted that
the region of the "supposed transit" was of "uniform intensity."

But the meaninglessness of all utterances in quasi-existence--

"Uniform intensity" turns our way as much as against us--or some day
some brain will conceive a way of beating Newton's third law--if every
reaction, or resistance, is, or can be, interpretable as stimulus
instead of resistance--if this could be done in mechanics, there's a way
open here for someone to own the world--specifically in this matter,
"uniform intensity" means that Lescarbault saw no ordinary sun spot,
just as much as it means that no spot at all was seen upon the sun.
Continuing the interpretation of a resistance as an assistance, which
can always be done with mental forces--making us wonder what
applications could be made with steam and electric forces--we point out
that invisibility in Brazil means parallax quite as truly as it means
absence, and, inasmuch as "Vulcan" was supposed to be distant from the
sun, we interpret denial as corroboration--method of course of every
scientist, politician, theologian, high-school debater.

So the text-books, with no especial cleverness, because no especial
cleverness is needed, lead the reader into contempt for the amateur of
Orgères, and forgetfulness of Leverrier--and some other subject is taken

But our own acceptance:

That these data are as good as ever they were;

That, if someone of eminence should predict an earthquake, and if there
should be no earthquake at the predicted time, that would discredit the
prophet, but data of past earthquakes would remain as good as ever they
had been. It is easy enough to smile at the illusion of a single

The mass-formation:

Fritsche, Stark, De Cuppis, Sidebotham, Lescarbault, Lummis, Gruthinson,
De Vico, Scott, Wray, Russell, Hind, Lowe, Coumbray, Weber, Standacher,
Lichtenberg, Dangos, Hoffman, Schmidt, Lofft, Steinheibel, Pastorff--

These are only the observations conventionally listed relatively to an
Intra-Mercurial planet. They are formidable enough to prevent our being
diverted, as if it were all the dream of a lonely amateur--but they're a
mere advance-guard. From now on other data of large celestial bodies,
some dark and some reflecting light, will pass and pass and keep on

So that some of us will remember a thing or two, after the procession's

Taking up only one of the listed observations--

Or our impression that the discrediting of Leverrier has nothing to do
with the acceptability of these data:

In the London _Times_, Jan. 10, 1860, is Benjamin Scott's account of his

That, in the summer of 1847, he had seen a body that had seemed to be
the size of Venus, crossing the sun. He says that, hardly believing the
evidence of his sense of sight, he had looked for someone, whose hopes
or ambitions would not make him so subject to illusion. He had told his
little son, aged five years, to look through the telescope. The child
had exclaimed that he had seen "a little balloon" crossing the sun.
Scott says that he had not had sufficient self-reliance to make public
announcement of his remarkable observation at the time, but that, in the
evening of the same day, he had told Dr. Dick, F.R.A.S., who had cited
other instances. In the _Times_, Jan. 12, 1860, is published a letter
from Richard Abbott, F.R.A.S.: that he remembered Mr. Scott's letter to
him upon this observation, at the time of the occurrence.

I suppose that, at the beginning of this chapter, one had the notion
that, by hard scratching through musty old records we might rake up
vague, more than doubtful data, distortable into what's called evidence
of unrecognized worlds or constructions of planetary size--

But the high authenticity and the support and the modernity of these of
the accursed that we are now considering--

And our acceptance that ours is a quasi-existence, in which above all
other things, hopes, ambitions, emotions, motivations, stands Attempt to
Positivize: that we are here considering an attempt to systematize that
is sheer fanaticism in its disregard of the unsystematizable--that it
represented the highest good in the 19th century--that it is mono-mania,
but heroic mono-mania that was quasi-divine in the 19th century--

But that this isn't the 19th century.

As a doubly sponsored Brahmin--in the regard of Baptists--the objects of
July 29, 1878, stand out and proclaim themselves so that nothing but
disregard of the intensity of mono-mania can account for their reception
by the system:

Or the total eclipse of July 29, 1878, and the reports by Prof. Watson,
from Rawlins, Wyoming, and by Prof. Swift, from Denver, Colorado: that
they had seen two shining objects at a considerable distance from the

It's quite in accord with our general expression: not that there is an
Intra-Mercurial planet, but that there are different bodies, many vast
things; near this earth sometimes, near the sun sometimes; orbitless
worlds, which, because of scarcely any data of collisions, we think of
as under navigable control--or dirigible super-constructions.

Prof. Watson and Prof. Swift published their observations.

Then the disregard that we cannot think of in terms of ordinary, sane

The text-book systematists begin by telling us that the trouble with
these observations is that they disagree widely: there is considerable
respectfulness, especially for Prof. Swift, but we are told that by
coincidence these two astronomers, hundreds of miles apart, were
illuded: their observations were so different--

Prof. Swift (_Nature_, Sept. 19, 1878):

That his own observation was "in close approximation to that given by
Prof. Watson."

In the _Observatory_, 2-161, Swift says that his observations and
Watson's were "confirmatory of each other."

The faithful try again:

That Watson and Swift mistook stars for other bodies.

In the _Observatory_, 2-193, Prof. Watson says that he had previously
committed to memory all stars near the sun, down to the seventh

And he's damned anyway.

How such exclusions work out is shown by Lockyer (_Nature_, Aug. 20,
1878). He says: "There is little doubt that an Intra-Mercurial planet
has been discovered by Prof. Watson."

That was before excommunication was pronounced.

He says:

"If it will fit one of Leverrier's orbits"--

It didn't fit.

In _Nature_, 21-301, Prof. Swift says:

"I have never made a more valid observation, nor one more free from

He's damned anyway.

We shall have some data that will not live up to most rigorous
requirements, but, if anyone would like to read how carefully and
minutely these two sets of observations were made, see Prof. Swift's
detailed description in the _Am. Jour. Sci._, 116-313; and the
technicalities of Prof. Watson's observations in _Monthly Notices_,

Our own acceptance upon dirigible worlds, which is assuredly enough,
more nearly real than attempted concepts of large planets relatively
near this earth, moving in orbits, but visible only occasionally; which
more nearly approximates to reasonableness than does wholesale slaughter
of Swift and Watson and Fritsche and Stark and De Cuppis--but our own
acceptance is so painful to so many minds that, in another of the
charitable moments that we have now and then for the sake of contrast,
we offer relief:

The things seen high in the sky by Swift and Watson--

Well, only two months before--the horse and the barn--

We go on with more observations by astronomers, recognizing that it is
the very thing that has given them life, sustained them, held them
together, that has crushed all but the quasi-gleam of independent life
out of them. Were they not systematized, they could not be at all,
except sporadically and without sustenance. They are systematized: they
must not vary from the conditions of the system: they must not break
away for themselves.

The two great commandments:

Thou shalt not break Continuity;

Thou shalt try.

We go on with these disregarded data, some of which, many of which, are
of the highest degree of acceptability. It is the System that pulls back
its variations, as this earth is pulling back the Matterhorn. It is the
System that nourishes and rewards, and also freezes out life with the
chill of disregard. We do note that, before excommunication is
pronounced, orthodox journals do liberally enough record unassimilable

All things merge away into everything else.

That is Continuity.

So the System merges away and evades us when we try to focus against it.

We have complained a great deal. At least we are not so dull as to have
the delusion that we know just exactly what it is that we are
complaining about. We speak seemingly definitely enough of "the System,"
but we're building upon observations by members of that very system. Or
what we are doing--gathering up the loose heresies of the orthodox. Of
course "the System" fringes and ravels away, having no real outline. A
Swift will antagonize "the System," and a Lockyer will call him back;
but, then, a Lockyer will vary with a "meteoric hypothesis," and a Swift
will, in turn, represent "the System." This state is to us typical of
all intermediatist phenomena; or that not conceivably is anything
really anything, if its parts are likely to be their own opposites at
any time. We speak of astronomers--as if there were real
astronomers--but who have lost their identity in a System--as if it were
a real System--but behind that System is plainly a rapport, or loss of
identity in the Spirit of an Era.

Bodies that have looked like dark bodies, and lights that may have been
sunlight reflected from inter-planetary--objects, masses,

Lights that have been seen upon--or near?--the moon:

In _Philosophical Transactions_, 82-27, is Herschel's report upon many
luminous points, which he saw upon--or near?--the moon, during an
eclipse. Why they should be luminous, whereas the moon itself was dark,
would get us into a lot of trouble--except that later we shall, or we
sha'n't, accept that many times have luminous objects been seen close to
this earth--at night.

But numerousness is a new factor, or new disturbance, to our

A new aspect of inter-planetary inhabitancy or occupancy--

Worlds in hordes--or beings--winged beings perhaps--wouldn't astonish me
if we should end up by discovering angels--or beings in
machines--argosies of celestial voyagers--

In 1783 and 1787, Herschel reported more lights on or near the moon,
which he supposed were volcanic.

The word of a Herschel has had no more weight, in divergences from the
orthodox, than has had the word of a Lescarbault. These observations are
of the disregarded.

Bright spots seen on the moon, November, 1821 (_Proc. London Roy. Soc._,

For four other instances, see Loomis (_Treatise on Astronomy_, p. 174).

A moving light is reported in _Phil. Trans._, 84-429. To the writer, it
looked like a star passing over the moon--"which, on the next moment's
consideration I knew to be impossible." "It was a fixed, steady light
upon the dark part of the moon." I suppose "fixed" applies to luster.

In the _Report of the Brit. Assoc._, 1847-18, there is an observation by
Rankin, upon luminous points seen on the shaded part of the moon,
during an eclipse. They seemed to this observer like reflections of
stars. That's not very reasonable: however, we have, in the _Annual
Register_, 1821-687, a light not referable to a star--because it moved
with the moon: was seen three nights in succession; reported by Capt.
Kater. See _Quart. Jour. Roy. Inst._, 12-133.

_Phil. Trans._, 112-237:

Report from the Cape Town Observatory: a whitish spot on the dark part
of the moon's limb. Three smaller lights were seen.

The call of positiveness, in its aspects of singleness, or homogeneity,
or oneness, or completeness. In data now coming, I feel it myself. A
Leverrier studies more than twenty observations. The inclination is
irresistible to think that they all relate to one phenomenon. It is an
expression of cosmic inclination. Most of the observations are so
irreconcilable with any acceptance other than of orbitless, dirigible
worlds that he shuts his eyes to more than two-thirds of them; he picks
out six that can give him the illusion of completeness, or of all
relating to one planet.

Or let it be that we have data of many dark bodies--still do we incline
almost irresistibly to think of one of them as the dark-body-in-chief.
Dark bodies, floating, or navigating, in inter-planetary space--and I
conceive of one that's the Prince of Dark Bodies:


Vast dark thing with the wings of a super-bat, or jet-black
super-construction; most likely one of the spores of the Evil One.

The extraordinary year, 1883:

London _Times_, Dec. 17, 1883:

Extract from a letter by Hicks Pashaw: that, in Egypt, Sept. 24, 1883,
he had seen, through glasses, "an immense black spot upon the lower part
of the sun."

Sun spot, maybe.

One night an astronomer was looking up at the sky, when something
obscured a star, for three and a half seconds. A meteor had been seen
nearby, but its train had been only momentarily visible. Dr. Wolf was
the astronomer (_Nature_, 86-528).

The next datum is one of the most sensational we have, except that there
is very little to it. A dark object that was seen by Prof. Heis, for
eleven degrees of arc, moving slowly across the Milky Way. (Greg's
Catalogue, _Rept. Brit. Assoc._, 1867-426.)

One of our quasi-reasons for accepting that orbitless worlds are
dirigible is the almost complete absence of data of collisions: of
course, though in defiance of gravitation, they may, without direction
like human direction, adjust to one another in the way of vortex rings
of smoke--a very human-like way, that is. But in _Knowledge_, February,
1894, are two photographs of Brooks' comet that are shown as evidence of
its seeming collision with a dark object, October, 1893. Our own wording
is that it "struck against something": Prof. Barnard's is that it had
"entered some dense medium, which shattered it." For all I know it had
knocked against merely a field of ice.


That upon the wings of a super-bat, he broods over this earth and over
other worlds, perhaps deriving something from them: hovers on wings, or
wing-like appendages, or planes that are hundreds of miles from tip to
tip--a super-evil thing that is exploiting us. By Evil I mean that which
makes us useful.

He obscures a star. He shoves a comet. I think he's a vast, black,
brooding vampire.

_Science_, July 31, 1896:

That, according to a newspaper account, Mr. W.R. Brooks, director of the
Smith Observatory, had seen a dark round object pass rather slowly
across the moon, in a horizontal direction. In Mr. Brooks' opinion it
was a dark meteor. In _Science_, Sept. 14, 1896, a correspondent writes
that, in his opinion, it may have been a bird. We shall have no trouble
with the meteor and bird mergers, if we have observations of long
duration and estimates of size up to hundreds of miles. As to the body
that was seen by Brooks, there is a note from the Dutch astronomer,
Muller, in the _Scientific American_, 75-251, that, upon April 4, 1892,
he had seen a similar phenomenon. In _Science Gossip_, n.s., 3-135, are
more details of the Brooks object--apparent diameter about one-thirtieth
of the moon's--moon's disk crossed in three or four seconds. The writer,
in _Science Gossip_, says that, on June 27, 1896, at one o'clock in the
morning, he was looking at the moon with a 2-inch achromatic, power 44,
when a long black object sailed past, from west to east, the transit
occupying 3 or 4 seconds. He believed this object to be a bird--there
was, however, no fluttering motion observable in it.

In the _Astronomische Nachrichten_, No. 3477, Dr. Brendel, of
Griefswald, Pomerania, writes that Postmaster Ziegler and other
observers had seen a body about 6 feet in diameter crossing the sun's
disk. The duration here indicates something far from the earth, and also
far from the sun. This thing was seen a quarter of an hour before it
reached the sun. Time in crossing the sun was about an hour. After
leaving the sun it was visible an hour.

I think he's a vast, black vampire that sometimes broods over this earth
and other bodies.

Communication from Dr. F.B. Harris (_Popular Astronomy_, 20-398):

That, upon the evening of Jan. 27, 1912, Dr. Harris saw, upon the moon,
"an intensely black object." He estimated it to be 250 miles long and 50
miles wide. "The object resembled a crow poised, as near as anything."
Clouds then cut off observation.

Dr. Harris writes:

"I cannot but think that a very interesting and curious phenomenon


Short chapter coming now, and it's the worst of them all. I think it's
speculative. It's a lapse from our usual pseudo-standards. I think it
must mean that the preceding chapter was very efficiently done, and that
now by the rhythm of all quasi-things--which can't be real things, if
they're rhythms, because a rhythm is an appearance that turns into its
own opposite and then back again--but now, to pay up, we're what we
weren't. Short chapter, and I think we'll fill in with several points in

A puzzle:

If it is our acceptance that, out of the Negative Absolute, the Positive
Absolute is generating itself, recruiting, or maintaining, itself, via a
third state, or our own quasi-state, it would seem that we're trying to
conceive of Universalness manufacturing more Universalness from
Nothingness. Take that up yourself, if you're willing to run the risk of
disappearing with such velocity that you'll leave an incandescent train
behind, and risk being infinitely happy forever, whereas you probably
don't want to be happy--I'll sidestep that myself, and try to be
intelligible by regarding the Positive Absolute from the aspect of
Realness instead of Universalness, recalling that by both Realness and
Universalness we mean the same state, or that which does not merge away
into something else, because there is nothing else. So the idea is that
out of Unrealness, instead of Nothingness, Realness, instead of
Universalness, is, via our own quasi-state, manufacturing more Realness.
Just so, but in relative terms, of course, all imaginings that
materialize into machines or statues, buildings, dollars, paintings or
books in paper and ink are graduations from unrealness to realness--in
relative terms. It would seem then that Intermediateness is a relation
between the Positive Absolute and the Negative Absolute. But the
absolute cannot be the related--of course a confession that we can't
really think of it at all, if here we think of a limit to the unlimited.
Doing the best we can, and encouraged by the reflection that we can't do
worse than has been done by metaphysicians in the past, we accept that
the absolute can't be the related. So then that our quasi-state is not a
real relation, if nothing in it is real. On the other hand, it is not an
unreal relation, if nothing in it is unreal. It seems thinkable that the
Positive Absolute can, by means of Intermediateness, have a
quasi-relation, or be only quasi-related, or be the unrelated, in final
terms, or, at least, not be the related, in final terms.

As to free will and Intermediatism--same answer as to everything else.
By free will we mean Independence--or that which does not merge away
into something else--so, in Intermediateness, neither free-will nor
slave-will--but a different approximation for every so-called person
toward one or the other of the extremes. The hackneyed way of expressing
this seems to me to be the acceptable way, if in Intermediateness,
there is only the paradoxical: that we're free to do what we have to do.

I am not convinced that we make a fetish of the preposterous. I think
our feeling is that in first gropings there's no knowing what will
afterward be the acceptable. I think that if an early biologist heard of
birds that grow on trees, he should record that he had heard of birds
that grow on trees: then let sorting over of data occur afterward. The
one thing that we try to tone down but that is to a great degree
unavoidable is having our data all mixed up like Long Island and Florida
in the minds of early American explorers. My own notion is that this
whole book is very much like a map of North America in which the Hudson
River is set down as a passage leading to Siberia. We think of
Monstrator and Melanicus and of a world that is now in communication
with this earth: if so, secretly, with certain esoteric ones upon this
earth. Whether that world's Monstrator and Monstrator's Melanicus--must
be the subject of later inquiry. It would be a gross thing to do: solve
up everything now and leave nothing to our disciples.

I have been very much struck with phenomena of "cup marks."

They look to me like symbols of communication.

But they do not look to me like means of communication between some of
the inhabitants of this earth and other inhabitants of this earth.

My own impression is that some external force has marked, with symbols,
rocks of this earth, from far away.

I do not think that cup marks are inscribed communications among
different inhabitants of this earth, because it seems too unacceptable
that inhabitants of China, Scotland, and America should all have
conceived of the same system.

Cup marks are strings of cup-like impressions in rocks. Sometimes there
are rings around them, and sometimes they have only semi-circles. Great
Britain, America, France, Algeria, Circassia, Palestine: they're
virtually everywhere--except in the far north, I think. In China, cliffs
are dotted with them. Upon a cliff near Lake Como, there is a maze of
these markings. In Italy and Spain and India they occur in enormous

Given that a force, say, like electric force, could, from a distance,
mark such a substance as rocks, as, from a distance of hundreds of
miles, selenium can be marked by telephotographers--but I am of two

The Lost Explorers from Somewhere, and an attempt, from Somewhere, to
communicate with them: so a frenzy of showering of messages toward this
earth, in the hope that some of them would mark rocks near the lost

Or that somewhere upon this earth, there is an especial rocky surface,
or receptor, or polar construction, or a steep, conical hill, upon which
for ages have been received messages from some other world; but that at
times messages go astray and mark substances perhaps thousands of miles
from the receptor:

That perhaps forces behind the history of this earth have left upon the
rocks of Palestine and England and India and China records that may some
day be deciphered, of their misdirected instructions to certain esoteric
ones--Order of the Freemasons--the Jesuits--

I emphasize the row-formation of cup marks:

Prof. Douglas (_Saturday Review_, Nov. 24, 1883):

"Whatever may have been their motive, the cup-markers showed a decided
liking for arranging their sculpturings in regularly spaced rows."

That cup marks are an archaic form of inscription was first suggested by
Canon Greenwell many years ago. But more specifically adumbratory to our
own expression are the observations of Rivett-Carnac (_Jour. Roy.
Asiatic Soc._, 1903-515):

That the Braille system of raised dots is an inverted arrangement of cup
marks: also that there are strong resemblances to the Morse code. But no
tame and systematized archaeologist can do more than casually point out
resemblances, and merely suggest that strings of cup marks look like
messages, because--China, Switzerland, Algeria, America--if messages
they be, there seems to be no escape from attributing one origin to
them--then, if messages they be, I accept one external origin, to which
the whole surface of this earth was accessible, for them.

Something else that we emphasize:

That rows of cup marks have often been likened to footprints.

But, in this similitude, their unilinear arrangement must be
disregarded--of course often they're mixed up in every way, but
arrangement in single lines is very common. It is odd that they should
so often be likened to footprints: I suppose there are exceptional
cases, but unless it's something that hops on one foot, or a cat going
along a narrow fence-top, I don't think of anything that makes
footprints one directly ahead of another--Cop, in a station house,
walking a chalk line, perhaps.

Upon the Witch's Stone, near Ratho, Scotland, there are twenty-four
cups, varying in size from one and a half to three inches in diameter,
arranged in approximately straight lines. Locally it is explained that
these are tracks of dogs' feet (_Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scotland_, 2-4-79).
Similar marks are scattered bewilderingly all around the Witch's
Stone--like a frenzy of telegraphing, or like messages repeating and
repeating, trying to localize differently.

In Inverness-shire, cup marks are called "fairies' footmarks." At
Valna's church, Norway, and St. Peter's, Ambleteuse, there are such
marks, said to be horses' hoofprints. The rocks of Clare, Ireland, are
marked with prints supposed to have been made by a mythical cow
(_Folklore_, 21-184).

We now have such a ghost of a thing that I'd not like to be interpreted
as offering it as a datum: it simply illustrates what I mean by the
notion of symbols, like cups, or like footprints, which, if like those
of horses or cows, are the reverse of, or the negatives of, cups--of
symbols that are regularly received somewhere upon this earth--steep,
conical hill, somewhere, I think--but that have often alighted in wrong
places--considerably to the mystification of persons waking up some
morning to find them upon formerly blank spaces.

An ancient record--still worse, an ancient Chinese record--of a
courtyard of a palace--dwellers of the palace waking up one morning,
finding the courtyard marked with tracks like the footprints of an
ox--supposed that the devil did it. (_Notes and Queries_, 9-6-225.)



Hordes upon hordes of them.

Beings massed like the clouds of souls, or the commingling whiffs of
spirituality, or the exhalations of souls that Doré pictured so often.

It may be that the Milky Way is a composition of stiff, frozen,
finally-static, absolute angels. We shall have data of little Milky
Ways, moving swiftly; or data of hosts of angels, not absolute, or still
dynamic. I suspect, myself, that the fixed stars are really fixed, and
that the minute motions said to have been detected in them are
illusions. I think that the fixed stars are absolutes. Their twinkling
is only the interpretation by an intermediatist state of them. I think
that soon after Leverrier died, a new fixed star was discovered--that,
if Dr. Gray had stuck to his story of the thousands of fishes from one
pail of water, had written upon it, lectured upon it, taken to street
corners, to convince the world that, whether conceivable or not, his
explanation was the only true explanation: had thought of nothing but
this last thing at night and first thing in the morning--his
obituary--another "nova" reported in _Monthly Notices_.

I think that Milky Ways, of an inferior, or dynamic, order, have often
been seen by astronomers. Of course it may be that the phenomena that we
shall now consider are not angels at all. We are simply feeling around,
trying to find out what we can accept. Some of our data indicate hosts
of rotund and complacent tourists in inter-planetary space--but then
data of long, lean, hungry ones. I think that there are, out in
inter-planetary space, Super Tamerlanes at the head of hosts of
celestial ravagers--which have come here and pounced upon civilizations
of the past, cleaning them up all but their bones, or temples and
monuments--for which later historians have invented exclusionist
histories. But if something now has a legal right to us, and can
enforce its proprietorship, they've been warned off. It's the way of all
exploitation. I should say that we're now under cultivation: that we're
conscious of it, but have the impertinence to attribute it all to our
own nobler and higher instincts.

Against these notions is the same sense of finality that opposes all
advance. It's why we rate acceptance as a better adaptation than belief.
Opposing us is the strong belief that, as to inter-planetary phenomena,
virtually everything has been found out. Sense of finality and illusion
of homogeneity. But that what is called advancing knowledge is violation
of the sense of blankness.

A drop of water. Once upon a time water was considered so homogeneous
that it was thought of as an element. The microscope--and not only that
the supposititiously elementary was seen to be of infinite diversity,
but that in its protoplasmic life there were new orders of beings.

Or the year 1491--and a European looking westward over the ocean--his
feeling that that suave western droop was unbreakable; that gods of
regularity would not permit that smooth horizon to be disturbed by
coasts or spotted with islands. The unpleasantness of even contemplating
such a state--wide, smooth west, so clean against the sky--spotted with
islands--geographic leprosy.

But coasts and islands and Indians and bison, in the seemingly vacant
west: lakes, mountains, rivers--

One looks up at the sky: the relative homogeneity of the
relatively unexplored: one thinks of only a few kinds of phenomena.
But the acceptance is forced upon me that there are modes and modes
and modes of inter-planetary existence: things as different from
planets and comets and meteors as Indians are from bison and prairie
dogs: a super-geography--or celestiography--of vast stagnant regions,
but also of Super-Niagaras and Ultra-Mississippis: and a
super-sociology--voyagers and tourists and ravagers: the hunted and the
hunting: the super-mercantile, the super-piratic, the super-evangelical.

Sense of homogeneity, or our positivist illusion of the unknown--and the
fate of all positivism.

Astronomy and the academic.

Ethics and the abstract.

The universal attempt to formulate or to regularize--an attempt that can
be made only by disregarding or denying.

Or all things disregard or deny that which will eventually invade and
destroy them--

Until comes the day when some one thing shall say, and enforce upon

"Thus far shalt thou go: here is absolute demarcation."

The final utterance:

"There is only I."

In the _Monthly Notices of the R.A.S._, 11-48, there is a letter from
the Rev. W. Read:

That, upon the 4th of September, 1851, at 9:30 A.M., he had seen a host
of self-luminous bodies, passing the field of his telescope, some slowly
and some rapidly. They appeared to occupy a zone several degrees in
breadth. The direction of most of them was due east to west, but some
moved from north to south. The numbers were tremendous. They were
observed for six hours.

Editor's note:

"May not these appearances be attributed to an abnormal state of the
optic nerves of the observer?"

In _Monthly Notices_, 12-38, Mr. Read answers that he had been a
diligent observer, with instruments of a superior order, for about 28
years--"but I have never witnessed such an appearance before." As to
illusion he says that two other members of his family had seen the

The Editor withdraws his suggestion.

We know what to expect. Almost absolutely--in an existence that is
essentially Hibernian--we can predict the past--that is, look over
something of this kind, written in 1851, and know what to expect from
the Exclusionists later. If Mr. Read saw a migration of dissatisfied
angels, numbering millions, they must merge away, at least subjectively,
with commonplace terrestrial phenomena--of course disregarding Mr.
Read's probable familiarity, of 28 years' duration, with the
commonplaces of terrestrial phenomena.

_Monthly Notices_, 12-183:

Letter from Rev. W.R. Dawes:

That he had seen similar objects--and in the month of September--that
they were nothing but seeds floating in the air.

In the _Report of the British Association_, 1852-235, there is a
communication from Mr. Read to Prof. Baden-Powell:

That the objects that had been seen by him and by Mr. Dawes were not
similar. He denies that he had seen seeds floating in the air. There had
been little wind, and that had come from the sea, where seeds would not
be likely to have origin. The objects that he had seen were round and
sharply defined, and with none of the feathery appearance of
thistledown. He then quotes from a letter from C.B. Chalmers, F.R.A.S.,
who had seen a similar stream, a procession, or migration, except that
some of the bodies were more elongated--or lean and hungry--than

He might have argued for sixty-five years. He'd have impressed
nobody--of importance. The super-motif, or dominant, of his era, was
Exclusionism, and the notion of seeds in the air assimilates--with due
disregards--with that dominant.

Or pageantries here upon our earth, and things looking down upon us--and
the Crusades were only dust clouds, and glints of the sun on shining
armor were only particles of mica in dust clouds. I think it was a
Crusade that Read saw--but that it was right, relatively to the year
1851, to say that it was only seeds in the wind, whether the wind blew
from the sea or not. I think of things that were luminous with religious
zeal, mixed up, like everything else in Intermediateness, with black
marauders and from gray to brown beings of little personal ambitions.
There may have been a Richard Coeur de Lion, on his way to right
wrongs in Jupiter. It was right, relatively to 1851, to say that he was
a seed of a cabbage.

Prof. Coffin, U.S.N. (_Jour. Frank. Inst._, 88-151):

That, during the eclipse of August, 1869, he had noted the passage,
across his telescope, of several bright flakes resembling thistleblows,
floating in the sunlight. But the telescope was so focused that, if
these things were distinct, they must have been so far away from this
earth that the difficulties of orthodoxy remain as great, one way or
another, no matter what we think they were--

They were "well-defined," says Prof. Coffin.

Henry Waldner (_Nature_, 5-304):

That, April 27, 1863, he had seen great numbers of small, shining bodies
passing from west to east. He had notified Dr. Wolf, of the Observatory
of Zurich, who "had convinced himself of this strange phenomenon." Dr.
Wolf had told him that similar bodies had been seen by Sig. Capocci, of
the Capodimonte Observatory, at Naples, May 11, 1845.

The shapes were of great diversity--or different aspects of similar

Appendages were seen upon some of them.

We are told that some were star-shaped, with transparent appendages.

I think, myself, it was a Mohammed and his Hegira. May have been only
his harem. Astonishing sensation: afloat in space with ten million wives
around one. Anyway, it would seem that we have considerable advantage
here, inasmuch as seeds are not in season in April--but the pulling back
to earth, the bedraggling by those sincere but dull ones of some time
ago. We have the same stupidity--necessary, functioning stupidity--of
attribution of something that was so rare that an astronomer notes only
one instance between 1845 and 1863, to an every-day occurrence--

Or Mr. Waldner's assimilative opinion that he had seen only ice

Whether they were not very exclusive veils of a super-harem, or planes
of a very light material, we have an impression of star-shaped things
with transparent appendages that have been seen in the sky.

Hosts of small bodies--black, this time--that were seen by the
astronomers Herrick, Buys-Ballot, and De Cuppis (_L'Année Scientifique_,
1860-25); vast numbers of bodies that were seen by M. Lamey, to cross
the moon (_L'Année Scientifique_, 1874-62); another instance of dark
ones; prodigious number of dark, spherical bodies reported by Messier,
June 17, 1777 (Arago, _OEuvres_, 9-38); considerable number of
luminous bodies which appeared to move out from the sun, in diverse
directions; seen at Havana, during eclipse of the sun, May 15, 1836, by
Prof. Auber (Poey); M. Poey cites a similar instance, of Aug. 3, 1886;
M. Lotard's opinion that they were birds (_L'Astronomie_, 1886-391);
large number of small bodies crossing disk of the sun, some swiftly,
some slowly; most of them globular, but some seemingly triangular, and
some of more complicated structure; seen by M. Trouvelet, who, whether
seeds, insects, birds, or other commonplace things, had never seen
anything resembling these forms (_L'Année Scientifique_, 1885-8); report
from the Rio de Janeiro Observatory, of vast numbers of bodies crossing
the sun, some of them luminous and some of them dark, from some time in
December, 1875, until Jan. 22, 1876 (_La Nature_, 1876-384).

Of course, at a distance, any form is likely to look round or roundish:
but we point out that we have notes upon the seeming of more complex
forms. In _L'Astronomie_, 1886-70, is recorded M. Briguiere's
observation, at Marseilles, April 15 and April 25, 1883, upon the
crossing of the sun by bodies that were irregular in form. Some of them
moved as if in alignment.

Letter from Sir Robert Inglis to Col. Sabine (_Rept. Brit. Assoc._,

That, at 3 P.M., Aug. 8, 1849, at Gais, Switzerland, Inglis had seen
thousands and thousands of brilliant white objects, like snowflakes in a
cloudless sky. Though this display lasted about twenty-five minutes, not
one of these seeming snowflakes was seen to fall. Inglis says that his
servant "fancied" that he had seen something like wings on
these--whatever they were. Upon page 18, of the _Report_, Sir John
Herschel says that, in 1845 or 1846, his attention had been attracted by
objects of considerable size, in the air, seemingly not far away. He had
looked at them through a telescope. He says that they were masses of
hay, not less than a yard or two in diameter. Still there are some
circumstances that interest me. He says that, though no less than a
whirlwind could have sustained these masses, the air about him was calm.
"No doubt wind prevailed at the spot, but there was no roaring noise."
None of these masses fell within his observation or knowledge. To walk a
few fields away and find out more would seem not much to expect from a
man of science, but it is one of our superstitions, that such a seeming
trifle is just what--by the Spirit of an Era, we'll call it--one is not
permitted to do. If those things were not masses of hay, and if Herschel
had walked a little and found out, and had reported that he had seen
strange objects in the air--that report, in 1846, would have been as
misplaced as the appearance of a tail upon an embryo still in its
gastrula era. I have noticed this inhibition in my own case many times.
Looking back--why didn't I do this or that little thing that would have
cost so little and have meant so much? Didn't belong to that era of my
own development.

_Nature_, 22-64:

That, at Kattenau, Germany, about half an hour before sunrise, March 22,
1880, "an enormous number of luminous bodies rose from the horizon, and
passed in a horizontal direction from east to west." They are described
as having appeared in a zone or belt. "They shone with a remarkably
brilliant light."

So they've thrown lassos over our data to bring them back to earth. But
they're lassos that cannot tighten. We can't pull out of them: we may
step out of them, or lift them off. Some of us used to have an
impression of Science sitting in calm, just judgment: some of us now
feel that a good many of our data have been lynched. If a Crusade,
perhaps from Mars to Jupiter, occur in the autumn--"seeds." If a Crusade
or outpouring of celestial vandals is seen from this earth in the
spring--"ice crystals." If we have record of a race of aerial beings,
perhaps with no substantial habitat, seen by someone in

This will be disregarded:

If locusts fly high, they freeze and fall in thousands.

_Nature_, 47-581:

Locusts that were seen in the mountains of India, at a height of 12,750
feet--"in swarms and dying by thousands."

But no matter whether they fly high or fly low, no one ever wonders
what's in the air when locusts are passing overhead, because of the
falling of stragglers. I have especially looked this matter up--no
mystery when locusts are flying overhead--constant falling of

_Monthly Notices_, 30-135:

"An unusual phenomenon noticed by Lieut. Herschel, Oct. 17 and 18, 1870,
while observing the sun, at Bangalore, India."

Lieut. Herschel had noticed dark shadows crossing the sun--but away from
the sun there were luminous, moving images. For two days bodies passed
in a continuous stream, varying in size and velocity.

The Lieutenant tries to explain, as we shall see, but he says:

"As it was, the continuous flight, for two whole days, in such numbers,
in the upper regions of the air, of beasts that left no stragglers, is a
wonder of natural history, if not of astronomy."

He tried different focusing--he saw wings--perhaps he saw planes. He
says that he saw upon the objects either wings or phantom-like

Then he saw something that was so bizarre that, in the fullness of his
nineteenth-centuriness, he writes:

"There was no longer doubt: they were locusts or flies of some sort."

One of them had paused.

It had hovered.

Then it had whisked off.

The Editor says that at that time "countless locusts had descended upon
certain parts of India."

We now have an instance that is extraordinary in several
respects--super-voyagers or super-ravagers; angels, ragamuffins,
crusaders, emigrants, aeronauts, or aerial elephants, or bison or
dinosaurs--except that I think the thing had planes or wings--one of
them has been photographed. It may be that in the history of photography
no more extraordinary picture than this has ever been taken.

_L'Astronomie_, 1885-347:

That, at the Observatory of Zacatecas, Mexico, Aug. 12, 1883, about
2,500 meters above sea level, were seen a large number of small luminous
bodies, entering upon the disk of the sun. M. Bonilla telegraphed to the
Observatories of the City of Mexico and of Puebla. Word came back that
the bodies were not visible there. Because of this parallax, M. Bonilla
placed the bodies "relatively near the earth." But when we find out what
he called "relatively near the earth"--birds or bugs or hosts of a
Super-Tamerlane or army of a celestial Richard Coeur de Lion--our
heresies rejoice anyway. His estimate is "less distance than the moon."

One of them was photographed. See _L'Astronomie_, 1885-349. The
photograph shows a long body surrounded by indefinite structures, or by
the haze of wings or planes in motion.

_L'Astronomie_, 1887-66;

Signer Ricco, of the Observatory of Palermo, writes that, Nov. 30, 1880,
at 8:30 o'clock in the morning, he was watching the sun, when he saw,
slowly traversing its disk, bodies in two long, parallel lines, and a
shorter, parallel line. The bodies looked winged to him. But so large
were they that he had to think of large birds. He thought of cranes.

He consulted ornithologists, and learned that the configuration of
parallel lines agrees with the flight-formation of cranes. This was in
1880: anybody now living in New York City, for instance, would tell him
that also it is a familiar formation of aeroplanes. But, because of data
of focus and subtended angles, these beings or objects must have been

Sig. Ricco argues that condors have been known to fly three or four
miles high, and that heights reached by other birds have been estimated
at two or three miles. He says that cranes have been known to fly so
high that they have been lost to view.

Our own acceptance, in conventional terms, is that there is not a bird
of this earth that would not freeze to death at a height of more than
four miles: that if condors fly three or four miles high, they are birds
that are especially adapted to such altitudes.

Sig. Ricco's estimate is that these objects or beings or cranes must
have been at least five and a half miles high.


The vast dark thing that looked like a poised crow of unholy dimensions.
Assuming that I shall ever have any readers, let him, or both of them,
if I shall ever have such popularity as that, note how dim that bold
black datum is at the distance of only two chapters.

The question:

Was it a thing or the shadow of a thing?

Acceptance either way calls not for mere revision but revolution in the
science of astronomy. But the dimness of the datum of only two chapters
ago. The carved stone disk of Tarbes, and the rain that fell every
afternoon for twenty--if I haven't forgotten, myself, whether it was
twenty-three or twenty-five days!--upon one small area. We are all
Thomsons, with brains that have smooth and slippery, though corrugated,
surfaces--or that all intellection is associative--or that we remember
that which correlates with a dominant--and a few chapters go by, and
there's scarcely an impression that hasn't slid off our smooth and
slippery brains, of Leverrier and the "planet Vulcan." There are two
ways by which irreconcilables can be remembered--if they can be
correlated in a system more nearly real than the system that rejects
them--and by repetition and repetition and repetition.

Vast black thing like a crow poised over the moon.

The datum is so important to us, because it enforces, in another field,
our acceptance that dark bodies of planetary size traverse this solar

Our position:

That the things have been seen:

Also that their shadows have been seen.

Vast black thing poised like a crow over the moon. So far it is a single
instance. By a single instance, we mean the negligible.

In _Popular Science_, 34-158, Serviss tells of a shadow that Schroeter
saw, in 1788, in the lunar Alps. First he saw a light. But then, when
this region was illuminated, he saw a round shadow where the light had

Our own expression:

That he saw a luminous object near the moon: that that part of the moon
became illuminated, and the object was lost to view; but that then its
shadow underneath was seen.

Serviss explains, of course. Otherwise he'd not be Prof. Serviss. It's a
little contest in relative approximations to realness. Prof. Serviss
thinks that what Schroeter saw was the "round" shadow of a mountain--in
the region that had become lighted. He assumes that Schroeter never
looked again to see whether the shadow could be attributed to a
mountain. That's the crux: conceivably a mountain could cast a
round--and that means detached--shadow, in the lighted part of the moon.
Prof. Serviss could, of course, explain why he disregards the light in
the first place--maybe it had always been there "in the first place." If
he couldn't explain, he'd still be an amateur.

We have another datum. I think it is more extraordinary than--

Vast thing, black and poised, like a crow, over the moon.

But only because it's more circumstantial, and because it has
corroboration, do I think it more extraordinary than--

Vast poised thing, black as a crow, over the moon.

Mr. H.C. Russell, who was usually as orthodox as anybody, I suppose--at
least, he wrote "F.R.A.S." after his name--tells in the _Observatory_,
2-374, one of the wickedest, or most preposterous, stories that we have
so far exhumed:

That he and another astronomer, G.D. Hirst, were in the Blue fountains,
near Sydney, N.S.W., and Mr. Hirst was looking at the moon--

He saw on the moon what Russell calls "one of those remarkable facts,
which being seen should be recorded, although no explanation can at
present be offered."

That may be so. It is very rarely done. Our own expression upon
evolution by successive dominants and their correlates is against it. On
the other hand, we express that every era records a few observations out
of harmony with it, but adumbratory or preparatory to the spirit of
eras still to come. It's very rarely done. Lashed by the phantom-scourge
of a now passing era, the world of astronomers is in a state of
terrorism, though of a highly attenuated, modernized, devitalized kind.
Let an astronomer see something that is not of the conventional,
celestial sights, or something that it is "improper" to see--his very
dignity is in danger. Some one of the corralled and scourged may stick a
smile into his back. He'll be thought of unkindly.

With a hardihood that is unusual in his world of ethereal
sensitivenesses, Russell says, of Hirst's observation:

"He found a large part of it covered with a dark shade, quite as dark as
the shadow of the earth during an eclipse of the moon."

But the climax of hardihood or impropriety or wickedness,
preposterousness or enlightenment:

"One could hardly resist the conviction that it was a shadow, yet it
could not be the shadow of any known body."

Richard Proctor was a man of some liberality. After a while we shall
have a letter, which once upon a time we'd have called delirious--don't
know that we could read such a thing now, for the first time, without
incredulous laughter--which Mr. Proctor permitted to be published in
_Knowledge_. But a dark, unknown world that could cast a shadow upon a
large part of the moon, perhaps extending far beyond the limb of the
moon; a shadow as deep as the shadow of this earth--

Too much for Mr. Proctor's politeness.

I haven't read what he said, but it seems to have been a little coarse.
Russell says that Proctor "freely used" his name in the _Echo_, of March
14, 1879, ridiculing this observation which had been made by Russell as
well as Hirst. If it hadn't been Proctor, it would have been someone
else--but one notes that the attack came out in a newspaper. There is no
discussion of this remarkable subject, no mention in any other
astronomic journal. The disregard was almost complete--but we do note
that the columns of the _Observatory_ were open to Russell to answer

In the answer, I note considerable intermediateness. Far back in 1879,
it would have been a beautiful positivism, if Russell had said--

"There was a shadow on the moon. Absolutely it was cast by an unknown

According to our religion, if he had then given all his time to the
maintaining of this one stand, of course breaking all friendships, all
ties with his fellow astronomers, his apotheosis would have occurred,
greatly assisted by means well known to quasi-existence when its
compromises and evasions, and phenomena that are partly this and partly
that, are flouted by the definite and uncompromising. It would be
impossible in a real existence, but Mr. Russell, of quasi-existence,
says that he did resist the conviction; that he had said that one could
"hardly resist"; and most of his resentment is against Mr. Proctor's
thinking that he had not resisted. It seems too bad--if apotheosis be

The point in Intermediatism here is:

Not that to adapt to the conditions of quasi-existence is to have what
is called success in quasi-existence, but is to lose one's soul--

But is to lose "one's" chance of attaining soul, self, or entity.

One indignation quoted from Proctor interests us:

"What happens on the moon may at any time happen to this earth."


That is just the teaching of this department of Advanced Astronomy:

That Russell and Hirst saw the sun eclipsed relatively to the moon by a
vast dark body:

That many times have eclipses occurred relatively to this earth, by
vast, dark bodies:

That there have been many eclipses that have not been recognized as
eclipses by scientific kindergartens.

There is a merger, of course. We'll take a look at it first--that, after
all, it may have been a shadow that Hirst and Russell saw, but the only
significance is that the sun was eclipsed relatively to the moon by a
cosmic haze of some kind, or a swarm of meteors close together, or a
gaseous discharge left behind by a comet. My own acceptance is that
vagueness of shadow is a function of vagueness of intervention; that a
shadow as dense as the shadow of this earth is cast by a body denser
than hazes and swarms. The information seems definite enough in this
respect--"quite as dark as the shadow of this earth during the eclipse
of the moon."

Though we may not always be as patient toward them as we should be, it
is our acceptance that the astronomic primitives have done a great deal
of good work: for instance, in the allaying of fears upon this earth.
Sometimes it may seem as if all science were to us very much like what a
red flag is to bulls and anti-socialists. It's not that: it's more like
what unsquare meals are to bulls and anti-socialists--not the
scientific, but the insufficient. Our acceptance is that Evil is the
negative state, by which we mean the state of maladjustment, discord,
ugliness, disorganization, inconsistency, injustice, and so on--as
determined in Intermediateness, not by real standards, but only by
higher approximations to adjustment, harmony, beauty, organization,
consistency, justice, and so on. Evil is outlived virtue, or incipient
virtue that has not yet established itself, or any other phenomenon that
is not in seeming adjustment, harmony, consistency with a dominant. The
astronomers have functioned bravely in the past. They've been good for
business: the big interests think kindly, if at all, of them. It's bad
for trade to have an intense darkness come upon an unaware community and
frighten people out of their purchasing values. But if an obscuration be
foretold, and if it then occur--may seem a little uncanny--only a
shadow--and no one who was about to buy a pair of shoes runs home
panic-stricken and saves the money.

Upon general principles we accept that astronomers have
quasi-systematized data of eclipses--or have included some and
disregarded others.

They have done well.

They have functioned.

But now they're negatives, or they're out of harmony--

If we are in harmony with a new dominant, or the spirit of a new era, in
which Exclusionism must be overthrown; if we have data of many
obscurations that have occurred, not only upon the moon, but upon our
own earth, as convincing of vast intervening bodies, usually invisible,
as is any regularized, predicted eclipse.

One looks up at the sky.

It seems incredible that, say, at the distance of the moon, there could
be, but be invisible, a solid body, say, the size of the moon.

One looks up at the moon, at a time when only a crescent of it is
visible. The tendency is to build up the rest of it in one's mind; but
the unillumined part looks as vacant as the rest of the sky, and it's of
the same blueness as the rest of the sky. There's a vast area of solid
substance before one's eyes. It's indistinguishable from the sky.

In some of our little lessons upon the beauties of modesty and humility,
we have picked out basic arrogances--tail of a peacock, horns of a stag,
dollars of a capitalist--eclipses of astronomers. Though I have no
desire for the job, I'd engage to list hundreds of instances in which
the report upon an expected eclipse has been "sky overcast" or "weather
unfavorable." In our Super-Hibernia, the unfavorable has been construed
as the favorable. Some time ago, when we were lost, because we had not
recognized our own dominant, when we were still of the unchosen and
likely to be more malicious than we now are--because we have noted a
steady tolerance creeping into our attitude--if astronomers are not to
blame, but are only correlates to a dominant--we advertised a predicted
eclipse that did not occur at all. Now, without any especial feeling,
except that of recognition of the fate of all attempted absolutism, we
give the instance, noting that, though such an evil thing to orthodoxy,
it was orthodoxy that recorded the non-event.

_Monthly Notices of the R.A.S._, 8-132:

"Remarkable appearances during the total eclipse of the moon on March
19, 1848":

In an extract from a letter from Mr. Forster, of Bruges, it is said
that, according to the writer's observations at the time of the
predicted total eclipse, the moon shone with about three times the
intensity of the mean illumination of an eclipsed lunar disk: that the
British Consul, at Ghent, who did not know of the predicted eclipse, had
written enquiring as to the "blood-red" color of the moon.

This is not very satisfactory to what used to be our malices. But
there follows another letter, from another astronomer, Walkey, who
had made observations at Clyst St. Lawrence: that, instead of an
eclipse, the moon became--as is printed in italics--"most beautifully
illuminated" ... "rather tinged with a deep red"... "the moon being
as perfect with light as if there had been no eclipse whatever."

I note that Chambers, in his work upon eclipses, gives Forster's letter
in full--and not a mention of Walkey's letter.

There is no attempt in _Monthly Notices_ to explain upon the notion of
greater distance of the moon, and the earth's shadow falling short,
which would make as much trouble for astronomers, if that were not
foreseen, as no eclipse at all. Also there is no refuge in saying that
virtually never, even in total eclipses, is the moon totally dark--"as
perfect with light as if there had been no eclipse whatever." It is said
that at the time there had been an aurora borealis, which might have
caused the luminosity, without a datum that such an effect, by an
aurora, had ever been observed upon the moon.

But single instances--so an observation by Scott, in the Antarctic. The
force of this datum lies in my own acceptance, based upon especially
looking up this point, that an eclipse nine-tenths of totality has great
effect, even though the sky be clouded.

Scott (_Voyage of the Discovery_, vol. ii, p. 215):

"There may have been an eclipse of the sun, Sept. 21, 1903, as the
almanac said, but we should, none of us, have liked to swear to the

This eclipse had been set down at nine-tenths of totality. The sky was
overcast at the time.

So it is not only that many eclipses unrecognized by astronomers as
eclipses have occurred, but that intermediatism, or impositivism, breaks
into their own seemingly regularized eclipses.

Our data of unregularized eclipses, as profound as those that are
conventionally--or officially?--recognized, that have occurred
relatively to this earth:

In _Notes and Queries_ there are several allusions to intense darknesses
that have occurred upon this earth, quite as eclipses occur, but that
are not referable to any known eclipsing body. Of course there is no
suggestion here that these darknesses may have been eclipses. My own
acceptance is that if in the nineteenth century anyone had uttered such
a thought as that, he'd have felt the blight of a Dominant; that
Materialistic Science was a jealous god, excluding, as works of the
devil, all utterances against the seemingly uniform, regular, periodic;
that to defy him would have brought on--withering by ridicule--shrinking
away by publishers--contempt of friends and family--justifiable grounds
for divorce--that one who would so defy would feel what unbelievers in
relics of saints felt in an earlier age; what befell virgins who forgot
to keep fires burning, in a still earlier age--but that, if he'd almost
absolutely hold out, just the same--new fixed star reported in _Monthly
Notices_. Altogether, the point in Positivism here is that by Dominants
and their correlates, quasi-existence strives for the positive state,
aggregating, around a nucleus, or dominant, systematized members of a
religion, a science, a society--but that "individuals" who do not
surrender and submerge may of themselves highly approximate to
positiveness--the fixed, the real, the absolute.

In _Notes and Queries_, 2-4-139, there is an account of a darkness in
Holland, in the midst of a bright day, so intense and terrifying that
many panic-stricken persons lost their lives stumbling into the canals.

_Gentleman's Magazine_, 33-414:

A darkness that came upon London, Aug. 19, 1763, "greater than at the
great eclipse of 1748."

However, our preference is not to go so far back for data. For a list of
historic "dark days," see Humboldt, _Cosmos_, 1-120.

_Monthly Weather Review_, March, 1886-79:

That, according to the _La Crosse Daily Republican_, of March 20, 1886,
darkness suddenly settled upon the city of Oshkosh, Wis., at 3 P.M.,
March 19. In five minutes the darkness equaled that of midnight.


I think that some of us are likely to overdo our own superiority and the
absurd fears of the Middle Ages--


People in the streets rushing in all directions--horses running
away--women and children running into cellars--little modern touch after
all: gas meters instead of images and relics of saints.

This darkness, which lasted from eight to ten minutes, occurred in a day
that had been "light but cloudy." It passed from west to east, and
brightness followed: then came reports from towns to the west of
Oshkosh: that the same phenomenon had already occurred there. A "wave of
total darkness" had passed from west to east.

Other instances are recorded in the _Monthly Weather Review_, but, as to
all of them, we have a sense of being pretty well-eclipsed, ourselves,
by the conventional explanation that the obscuring body was only a very
dense mass of clouds. But some of the instances are interesting--intense
darkness at Memphis, Tenn., for about fifteen minutes, at 10 A.M., Dec.
2, 1904--"We are told that in some quarters a panic prevailed, and that
some were shouting and praying and imagining that the end of the world
had come." (_M.W.R._, 32-522.) At Louisville, Ky., March 7, 1911, at
about 8 A.M.: duration about half an hour; had been raining moderately,
and then hail had fallen. "The intense blackness and general ominous
appearance of the storm spread terror throughout the city." (_M.W.R._,

However, this merger between possible eclipses by unknown dark bodies
and commonplace terrestrial phenomena is formidable.

As to darknesses that have fallen upon vast areas, conventionality
is--smoke from forest fires. In the _U.S. Forest Service Bulletin_, No.
117, F.G. Plummer gives a list of eighteen darknesses that have occurred
in the United States and Canada. He is one of the primitives, but I
should say that his dogmatism is shaken by vibrations from the new
Dominant. His difficulty, which he acknowledges, but which he would have
disregarded had he written a decade or so earlier, is the profundity of
some of these obscurations. He says that mere smokiness cannot account
for such "awe-inspiring dark days." So he conceives of eddies in the
air, concentrating the smoke from forest fires. Then, in the
inconsistency or discord of all quasi-intellection that is striving for
consistency or harmony, he tells of the vastness of some of these
darknesses. Of course Mr. Plummer did not really think upon this
subject, but one does feel that he might have approximated higher to
real thinking than by speaking of concentration and then listing data of
enormous area, or the opposite of circumstances of concentration--because,
of his nineteen instances, nine are set down as covering all New England.
In quasi-existence, everything generates or is part of its own opposite.
Every attempt at peace prepares the way for war; all attempts at justice
result in injustice in some other respect: so Mr. Plummer's attempt to
bring order into his data, with the explanation of darkness caused by
smoke from forest fires, results in such confusion that he ends up by
saying that these daytime darknesses have occurred "often with little
or no turbidity of the air near the earth's surface"--or with no evidence
at all of smoke--except that there is almost always a forest fire

However, of the eighteen instances, the only one that I'd bother to
contest is the profound darkness in Canada and northern parts of the
United States, Nov. 19, 1819--which we have already considered.

Its concomitants:

Lights in the sky;

Fall of a black substance;

Shocks like those of an earthquake.

In this instance, the only available forest fire was one to the south of
the Ohio River. For all I know, soot from a very great fire south of the
Ohio might fall in Montreal, Canada, and conceivably, by some freak of
reflection, light from it might be seen in Montreal, but the earthquake
is not assimilable with a forest fire. On the other hand, it will soon
be our expression that profound darkness, fall of matter from the sky,
lights in the sky, and earthquakes are phenomena of the near approach of
other worlds to this world. It is such comprehensiveness, as contrasted
with inclusion of a few factors and disregard for the rest, that we call
higher approximation to realness--or universalness.

A darkness, of April 17, 1904, at Wimbledon, England (_Symons' Met.
Mag._, 39-69). It came from a smokeless region: no rain, no thunder;
lasted 10 minutes; too dark to go "even out in the open."

As to darknesses in Great Britain, one thinks of fogs--but in _Nature_,
25-289, there are some observations by Major J. Herschel, upon an
obscuration in London, Jan. 22, 1882, at 10:30 A.M., so great that he
could hear persons upon the opposite side of the street, but could not
see them--"It was obvious that there was no fog to speak of."

_Annual Register_, 1857-132:

An account by Charles A. Murray, British Envoy to Persia, of a darkness
of May 20, 1857, that came upon Bagdad--"a darkness more intense than
ordinary midnight, when neither stars nor moon are visible...." "After a
short time the black darkness was succeeded by a red, lurid gloom, such
as I never saw in any part of the world."

"Panic seized the whole city."

"A dense volume of red sand fell."

This matter of sand falling seems to suggest conventional explanation
enough, or that a simoon, heavily charged with terrestrial sand, had
obscured the sun, but Mr. Murray, who says that he had had experience
with simoons, gives his opinion that "it cannot have been a simoon."

It is our comprehensiveness now, or this matter of concomitants of
darknesses that we are going to capitalize. It is all very complicated
and tremendous, and our own treatment can be but impressionistic, but a
few of the rudiments of Advanced Seismology we shall now take up--or the
four principal phenomena of another world's close approach to this

If a large substantial mass, or super-construction, should enter
this earth's atmosphere, it is our acceptance that it would
sometimes--depending upon velocity--appear luminous or look like a
cloud, or like a cloud with a luminous nucleus. Later we shall have an
expression upon luminosity--different from the luminosity of
incandescence--that comes upon objects falling from the sky, or entering
this earth's atmosphere. Now our expression is that worlds have often
come close to this earth, and that smaller objects--size of a haystack
or size of several dozen skyscrapers lumped, have often hurtled through
this earth's atmosphere, and have been mistaken for clouds, because they
were enveloped in clouds--

Or that around something coming from the intense cold of inter-planetary
space--that is of some regions: our own suspicion is that other regions
are tropical--the moisture of this earth's atmosphere would condense
into a cloud-like appearance around it. In _Nature_, 20-121, there is an
account by Mr. S.W. Clifton, Collector of Customs, at Freemantle,
Western Australia, sent to the Melbourne Observatory--a clear
day--appearance of a small black cloud, moving not very
swiftly--bursting into a ball of fire, of the apparent size of the

Or that something with the velocity of an ordinary meteorite could not
collect vapor around it, but that slower-moving objects--speed of a
railway train, say--may.

The clouds of tornadoes have so often been described as if they were
solid objects that I now accept that sometimes they are: that some
so-called tornadoes are objects hurtling through this earth's
atmosphere, not only generating disturbances by their suctions, but
crushing, with their bulk, all things in their way, rising and falling
and finally disappearing, demonstrating that gravitation is not the
power that the primitives think it is, if an object moving at relatively
low velocity be not pulled to this earth, or being so momentarily
affected, bounds away.

In Finley's _Reports on the Character of 600 Tornadoes_ very suggestive
bits of description occur:

"Cloud bounded along the earth like a ball"--

Or that it was no meteorological phenomenon, but something very much
like a huge solid ball that was bounding along, crushing and carrying
with it everything within its field--

"Cloud bounded along, coming to the earth every eight hundred or one
thousand yards."

Here's an interesting bit that I got somewhere else. I offer it as a
datum in super-biology, which, however, is a branch of advanced science
that I'll not take up, restricting to things indefinitely called

"The tornado came wriggling, jumping, whirling like a great green snake,
darting out a score of glistening fangs."

Though it's interesting, I think that's sensational, myself. It may be
that vast green snakes sometimes rush past this earth, taking a swift
bite wherever they can, but, as I say, that's a super-biologic
phenomenon. Finley gives dozens of instances of tornado clouds that seem
to me more like solid things swathed in clouds, than clouds. He notes
that, in the tornado at Americus, Georgia, July 18, 1881, "a strange
sulphurous vapor was emitted from the cloud." In many instances,
objects, or meteoritic stones, that have come from this earth's
externality, have had a sulphurous odor. Why a wind effect should be
sulphurous is not clear. That a vast object from external regions
should be sulphurous is in line with many data. This phenomenon is
described in the _Monthly Weather Review_, July, 1881, as "a strange
sulphurous vapor ... burning and sickening all who approached close
enough to breathe it."

The conventional explanation of tornadoes as wind-effects--which we do
not deny in some instances--is so strong in the United States that it is
better to look elsewhere for an account of an object that has hurtled
through this earth's atmosphere, rising and falling and defying this
earth's gravitation.

_Nature_, 7-112:

That, according to a correspondent to the _Birmingham Morning News_, the
people living near King's Sutton, Banbury, saw, about one o'clock, Dec.
7, 1872, something like a haycock hurtling through the air. Like a
meteor it was accompanied by fire and a dense smoke and made a noise
like that of a railway train. "It was sometimes high in the air and
sometimes near the ground." The effect was tornado-like: trees and walls
were knocked down. It's a late day now to try to verify this story, but
a list is given of persons whose property was injured. We are told that
this thing then disappeared "all at once."

These are the smaller objects, which may be derailed railway trains or
big green snakes, for all I know--but our expression upon approach to
this earth by vast dark bodies--

That likely they'd be made luminous: would envelop in clouds, perhaps,
or would have their own clouds--

But that they'd quake, and that they'd affect this earth with quakes--

And that then would occur a fall of matter from such a world, or rise of
matter from this earth to a nearby world, or both fall and rise, or
exchange of matter--process known to Advanced Seismology as

Except that--if matter from some other world--and it would be like
someone to get it into his head that we absolutely deny gravitation,
just because we cannot accept orthodox dogmas--except that, if matter
from another world, filling the sky of this earth, generally, as to a
hemisphere, or locally, should be attracted to this earth, it would
seem thinkable that the whole thing should drop here, and not merely its

Objects upon a ship's bottom. From time to time they drop to the bottom
of the ocean. The ship does not.

Or, like our acceptance upon dripping from aerial ice-fields, we think
of only a part of a nearby world succumbing, except in being caught in
suspension, to this earth's gravitation, and surface-materials falling
from that part--

Explain or express or accept, and what does it matter? Our attitude is:

Here are the data.

See for yourself.

What does it matter what my notions may be?

Here are the data.

But think for yourself, or think for myself, all mixed up we must be. A
long time must go by before we can know Florida from Long Island. So
we've had data of fishes that have fallen from our now established and
respectabilized Super-Sargasso Sea--which we've almost forgotten, it's
now so respectable--but we shall have data of fishes that have fallen
during earthquakes. These we accept were dragged down from ponds or
other worlds that have been quaked, when only a few miles away, by this
earth, some other world also quaking this earth.

In a way, or in its principle, our subject is orthodox enough. Only
grant proximity of other worlds--which, however, will not be a matter of
granting, but will be a matter of data--and one conventionally conceives
of their surfaces quaked--even of a whole lake full of fishes being
quaked and dragged down from one of them. The lake full of fishes may
cause a little pain to some minds, but the fall of sand and stones is
pleasantly enough thought of. More scientific persons, or more faithful
hypnotics than we, have taken up this subject, unpainfully, relatively
to the moon. For instance, Perrey has gone over 15,000 records of
earthquakes, and he has correlated many with proximities of the moon, or
has attributed many to the pull of the moon when nearest this earth.
Also there is a paper upon this subject in the _Proc. Roy. Soc. of
Cornwall_, 1845. Or, theoretically, when at its closest to this earth,
the moon quakes the face of this earth, and is itself quaked--but does
not itself fall to this earth. As to showers of matter that may have
come from the moon at such times--one can go over old records and find
what one pleases.

That is what we now shall do.

Our expressions are for acceptance only.

Our data:

We take them from four classes of phenomena that have preceded or
accompanied earthquakes:

Unusual clouds, darkness profound, luminous appearances in the sky, and
falls of substances and objects whether commonly called meteoritic or

Not one of these occurrences fits in with principles of primitive, or
primary, seismology, and every one of them is a datum of a quaked body
passing close to this earth or suspended over it. To the primitives
there is not a reason in the world why a convulsion of this earth's
surface should be accompanied by unusual sights in the sky, by darkness,
or by the fall of substances or objects from the sky. As to phenomena
like these, or storms, preceding earthquakes, the irreconcilability is
still greater.

It was before 1860 that Perrey made his great compilation. We take most
of our data from lists compiled long ago. Only the safe and unpainful
have been published in recent years--at least in ambitious, voluminous
form. The restraining hand of the "System"--as we call it, whether it
has any real existence or not--is tight upon the sciences of today. The
uncanniest aspect of our quasi-existence that I know of is that
everything that seems to have one identity has also as high a seeming of
everything else. In this oneness of allness, or continuity, the
protecting hand strangles; the parental stifles; love is inseparable
from phenomena of hate. There is only Continuity--that is in
quasi-existence. _Nature_, at least in its correspondents' columns,
still evades this protective strangulation, and the _Monthly Weather
Review_ is still a rich field of unfaithful observation: but, in looking
over other long-established periodicals, I have noted their glimmers of
quasi-individuality fade gradually, after about 1860, and the surrender
of their attempted identities to a higher attempted organization. Some
of them, expressing Intermediateness-wide endeavor to localize the
universal, or to localize self, soul, identity, entity--or positiveness
or realness--held out until as far as 1880; traces findable up to
1890--and then, expressing the universal process--except that here and
there in the world's history there may have been successful
approximations to positiveness by "individuals"--who only then became
individuals and attained to selves or souls of their own--surrendered,
submitted, became parts of a higher organization's attempt to
individualize or systematize into a complete thing, or to localize the
universal or the attributes of the universal. After the death of Richard
Proctor, whose occasional illiberalities I'd not like to emphasize too
much, all succeeding volumes of _Knowledge_ have yielded scarcely an
unconventionality. Note the great number of times that the _American
Journal of Science_ and the _Report of the British Association_ are
quoted: note that, after, say, 1885, they're scarcely mentioned in these
inspired but illicit pages--as by hypnosis and inertia, we keep on

About 1880.

Throttle and disregard.

But the coercion could not be positive, and many of the excommunicated
continued to creep in; or, even to this day, some of the strangled are
faintly breathing.

Some of our data have been hard to find. We could tell stories of great
labor and fruitless quests that would, though perhaps imperceptibly,
stir the sympathy of a Mr. Symons. But, in this matter of concurrence of
earthquakes with aerial phenomena, which are as unassociable with
earthquakes, if internally caused, as falls of sand on convulsed small
boys full of sour apples, the abundance of so-called evidence is so
great that we can only sketchily go over the data, beginning with Robert
Mallet's Catalogue (_Rept. Brit. Assoc._, 1852), omitting some
extraordinary instances, because they occurred before the eighteenth

Earthquake "preceded" by a violent tempest, England, Jan. 8,
1704--"preceded" by a brilliant meteor, Switzerland, Nov. 4,
1704--"luminous cloud, moving at high velocity, disappearing behind the
horizon," Florence, Dec. 9, 1731--"thick mists in the air, through which
a dim light was seen: several weeks before the shock, globes of light
had been seen in the air," Swabia, May 22, 1732--rain of earth,
Carpentras, France, Oct. 18, 1737--a black cloud, London, March 19,
1750--violent storm and a strange star of octagonal shape, Slavange,
Norway, April 15, 1752--balls of fire from a streak in the sky,
Augermannland, 1752--numerous meteorites, Lisbon, Oct. 15,
1755--"terrible tempests" over and over--"falls of hail" and "brilliant
meteors," instance after instance--"an immense globe," Switzerland, Nov.
2, 1761--oblong, sulphurous cloud, Germany, April, 1767--extraordinary
mass of vapor, Boulogne, April, 1780--heavens obscured by a dark mist,
Grenada, Aug. 7, 1804--"strange, howling noises in the air, and large
spots obscuring the sun," Palermo, Italy, April 16, 1817--"luminous
meteor moving in the same direction as the shock," Naples, Nov. 22,
1821--fire ball appearing in the sky: apparent size of the moon,
Thuringerwald, Nov. 29, 1831.

And, unless you be polarized by the New Dominant, which is calling for
recognition of multiplicities of external things, as a Dominant, dawning
new over Europe in 1492, called for recognition of terrestrial
externality to Europe--unless you have this contact with the new, you
have no affinity for these data--beans that drop from a
magnet--irreconcilables that glide from the mind of a Thomson--

Or my own acceptance that we do not really think at all; that we
correlate around super-magnets that I call Dominants--a Spiritual
Dominant in one age, and responsively to it up spring monasteries, and
the stake and the cross are its symbols: a Materialist Dominant, and up
spring laboratories, and microscopes and telescopes and crucibles are
its ikons--that we're nothing but iron filings relatively to a
succession of magnets that displace preceding magnets.

With no soul of your own, and with no soul of my own--except that some
day some of us may no longer be Intermediatisms, but may hold out
against the cosmos that once upon a time thousands of fishes were cast
from one pail of water--we have psycho-valency for these data, if we're
obedient slaves to the New Dominant, and repulsion to them, if we're
mere correlates to the Old Dominant. I'm a soulless and selfless
correlate to the New Dominant, myself: I see what I have to see. The
only inducement I can hold out, in my attempt to rake up disciples, is
that some day the New will be fashionable: the new correlates will sneer
at the old correlates. After all, there is some inducement to that--and
I'm not altogether sure it's desirable to end up as a fixed star.

As a correlate to the New Dominant, I am very much impressed with some
of these data--the luminous object that moved in the same direction as
an earthquake--it seems very acceptable that a quake followed this thing
as it passed near this earth's surface. The streak that was seen in the
sky--or only a streak that was visible of another world--and objects, or
meteorites, that were shaken down from it. The quake at Carpentras,
France: and that, above Carpentras, was a smaller world, more violently
quaked, so that earth was shaken down from it.

But I like best the super-wolves that were seen to cross the sun during
the earthquake at Palermo.

They howled.

Or the loves of the worlds. The call they feel for one another. They try
to move closer and howl when they get there.

The howls of the planets.

I have discovered a new unintelligibility.

In the _Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal_--have to go away back to
1841--days of less efficient strangulation--Sir David Milne lists
phenomena of quakes in Great Britain. I pick out a few that indicate to
me that other worlds were near this earth's surface:

Violent storm before a shock of 1703--ball of fire "preceding," 1750--a
large ball of fire seen upon day following a quake, 1755--"uncommon
phenomenon in the air: a large luminous body, bent like a crescent,
which stretched itself over the heavens, 1816--vast ball of fire,
1750--black rains and black snows, 1755--numerous instances of upward
projection--or upward attraction?--during quakes--preceded by a cloud,
very black and lowering," 1795--fall of black powder, preceding a quake,
by six hours, 1837.

Some of these instances seem to me to be very striking--a smaller world:
it is greatly racked by the attraction of this earth--black substance is
torn down from it--not until six hours later, after an approach still
closer, does this earth suffer perturbation. As to the extraordinary
spectacle of a thing, world, super-construction, that was seen in the
sky, in 1816, I have not yet been able to find out more. I think that
here our acceptance is relatively sound: that this occurrence was
tremendously of more importance than such occurrence as, say, transits
of Venus, upon which hundreds of papers have been written--that not
another mention have I found, though I have not looked so especially as
I shall look for more data--that all but undetailed record of this
occurrence was suppressed.

Altogether we have considerable agreement here between data of vast
masses that do not fall to this earth, but from which substances fall,
and data of fields of ice from which ice may not fall, but from which
water may drip. I'm beginning to modify: that, at a distance from this
earth, gravitation has more effect than we have supposed, though less
effect than the dogmatists suppose and "prove." I'm coming out stronger
for the acceptance of a Neutral Zone--that this earth, like other
magnets, has a neutral zone, in which is the Super-Sargasso Sea, and in
which other worlds may be buoyed up, though projecting parts may be
subject to this earth's attraction--

But my preference:

Here are the data.

I now have one of the most interesting of the new correlates. I think I
should have brought it in before, but, whether out of place here,
because not accompanied by earthquake, or not, we'll have it. I offer it
as an instance of an eclipse, by a vast, dark body, that has been seen
and reported by an astronomer. The astronomer is M. Lias: the phenomenon
was seen by him, at Pernambuco, April 11, 1860.

_Comptes Rendus_, 50-1197:

It was about noon--sky cloudless--suddenly the light of the sun was
diminished. The darkness increased, and, to illustrate its intensity, we
are told that the planet Venus shone brilliant. But Venus was of low
visibility at this time. The observation that burns incense to the New
Dominant is:

That around the sun appeared a corona.

There are many other instances that indicate proximity of other world's
during earthquakes. I note a few--quake and an object in the sky, called
"a large, luminous meteor" (_Quar. Jour. Roy. Inst._, 5-132); luminous
body in the sky, earthquake, and fall of sand, Italy, Feb. 12 and 13,
1870 (_La Science Pour Tous_, 15-159); many reports upon luminous object
in the sky and earthquake, Connecticut, Feb. 27, 1883 (_Monthly Weather
Review_, February, 1883); luminous object, or meteor, in the sky, fall
of stones from the sky, and earthquake, Italy, Jan. 20, 1891
(_L'Astronomie_, 1891-154); earthquake and prodigious number of luminous
bodies, or globes, in the air, Boulogne, France, June 7, 1779 (Sestier,
"_La Foudre_," 1-169); earthquake at Manila, 1863, and "curious luminous
appearance in the sky" (Ponton, _Earthquakes_, p. 124).

The most notable appearance of fishes during an earthquake is that of
Riobamba. Humboldt sketched one of them, and it's an uncanny-looking
thing. Thousands of them appeared upon the ground during this tremendous
earthquake. Humboldt says that they were cast up from subterranean
sources. I think not myself, and have data for thinking not, but there'd
be such a row arguing back and forth that it's simpler to consider a
clearer instance of the fall of living fishes from the sky, during an
earthquake. I can't quite accept, myself, whether a large lake, and all
the fishes in it, was torn down from some other world, or a lake in the
Super-Sargasso Sea, distracted between two pulling worlds, was dragged
down to this earth--

Here are the data:

_La Science Pour Tous_, 6-191:

Feb. 16, 1861. An earthquake at Singapore. Then came an extraordinary
downpour of rain--or as much water as any good-sized lake would consist
of. For three days this rain or this fall of water came down in
torrents. In pools on the ground, formed by this deluge, great numbers
of fishes were found. The writer says that he had, himself, seen nothing
but water fall from the sky. Whether I'm emphasizing what a deluge it
was or not, he says that so terrific had been the downpour that he had
not been able to see three steps away from him. The natives said that
the fishes had fallen from the sky. Three days later the pools dried up
and many dead fishes were found, but, in the first place--though that's
an expression for which we have an instinctive dislike--the fishes had
been active and uninjured. Then follows material for another of our
little studies in the phenomena of disregard. A psycho-tropism here is
mechanically to take pen in hand and mechanically write that fishes
found on the ground after a heavy rainfall came from overflowing
streams. The writer of the account says that some of the fishes had
been found in his courtyard, which was surrounded by high walls--paying
no attention to this, a correspondent (_La Science Pour Tous_, 6-317)
explains that in the heavy rain a body of water had probably overflowed,
carrying fishes with it. We are told by the first writer that these
fishes of Singapore were of a species that was very abundant near
Singapore. So I think, myself, that a whole lakeful of them had been
shaken down from the Super-Sargasso Sea, under the circumstances we have
thought of. However, if appearance of strange fishes after an earthquake
be more pleasing in the sight, or to the nostrils, of the New Dominant,
we faithfully and piously supply that incense--An account of the
occurrence at Singapore was read by M. de Castelnau, before the French
Academy. M. de Castelnau recalled that, upon a former occasion, he had
submitted to the Academy the circumstance that fishes of a new species
had appeared at the Cape of Good Hope, after an earthquake.

It seems proper, and it will give luster to the new orthodoxy, now to
have an instance in which, not merely quake and fall of rocks or
meteorites, or quake and either eclipse or luminous appearances in the
sky have occurred, but in which are combined all the phenomena, one or
more of which, when accompanying earthquake, indicate, in our
acceptance, the proximity of another world. This time a longer duration
is indicated than in other instances.

In the _Canadian Institute Proceedings_, 2-7-198, there is an account,
by the Deputy Commissioner at Dhurmsalla, of the extraordinary
Dhurmsalla meteorite--coated with ice. But the combination of events
related by him is still more extraordinary:

That within a few months of the fall of this meteorite there had been a
fall of live fishes at Benares, a shower of red substance at
Furruckabad, a dark spot observed on the disk of the sun, an earthquake,
"an unnatural darkness of some duration," and a luminous appearance in
the sky that looked like an aurora borealis--

But there's more to this climax:

We are introduced to a new order of phenomena:


The Deputy Commissioner writes that, in the evening, after the fall of
the Dhurmsalla meteorite, or mass of stone covered with ice, he saw
lights. Some of them were not very high. They appeared and went out and
reappeared. I have read many accounts of the Dhurmsalla meteorite--July
28, 1860--but never in any other of them a mention of this new
correlate--something as out of place in the nineteenth century as would
have been an aeroplane--the invention of which would not, in our
acceptance, have been permitted, in the nineteenth century, though
adumbrations to it were permitted. This writer says that the lights
moved like fire balloons, but:

"I am sure that they were neither fire balloons, lanterns, nor bonfires,
or any other thing of that sort, but bona fide lights in the heavens."

It's a subject for which we shall have to have a separate
expression--trespassers upon territory to which something else has a
legal right--perhaps someone lost a rock, and he and his friends came
down looking for it, in the evening--or secret agents, or emissaries,
who had an appointment with certain esoteric ones near Dhurmsalla--things
or beings coming down to explore, and unable to stay down long--

In a way, another strange occurrence during an earthquake is suggested.
The ancient Chinese tradition--the marks like hoof marks in the ground.
We have thought--with a low degree of acceptance--of another world that
may be in secret communication with certain esoteric ones of this
earth's inhabitants--and of messages in symbols like hoof marks that are
sent to some receptor, or special hill, upon this earth--and of messages
that at times miscarry.

This other world comes close to this world--there are quakes--but
advantage of proximity is taken to send a message--the message, designed
for a receptor in India, perhaps, or in Central Europe, miscarries all
the way to England--marks like the marks of the Chinese tradition are
found upon a beach, in Cornwall, after an earthquake--

_Phil. Trans._, 50-500:

After the quake of July 15, 1757, upon the sands of Penzance, Cornwall,
in an area of more than 100 square yards, were found marks like hoof
prints, except that they were not crescentic. We feel a similarity, but
note an arbitrary disregard of our own, this time. It seems to us that
marks described as "little cones surrounded by basins of equal diameter"
would be like hoof prints, if hoofs printed complete circles. Other
disregards are that there were black specks on the tops of cones, as if
something, perhaps gaseous, had issued from them; that from one of these
formations came a gush of water as thick as a man's wrist. Of course the
opening of springs is common in earthquakes--but we suspect, myself,
that the Negative Absolute is compelling us to put in this datum and its

There's another matter in which the Negative Absolute seems to work
against us. Though to super-chemistry, we have introduced the principle
of celestio-metathesis, we have no good data of exchange of substances
during proximities. The data are all of falls and not of upward
translations. Of course upward impulses are common during earthquakes,
but I haven't a datum upon a tree or a fish or a brick or a man that
ever did go up and stay up and that never did come down again. Our
classic of the horse and barn occurred in what was called a whirlwind.

It is said that, in an earthquake in Calabria, paving stones shot up far
in the air.

The writer doesn't specifically say that they came down again, but
something seems to tell me they did.

The corpses of Riobamba.

Humboldt reported that, in the quake of Riobamba, "bodies were torn
upward from graves"; that "the vertical motion was so strong that bodies
were tossed several hundred feet in the air."

I explain.

I explain that, if in the center of greatest violence of an earthquake,
anything ever has gone up, and has kept on going up, the thoughts of the
nearest observers were very likely upon other subjects.

The quay of Lisbon.

We are told that it went down.

A vast throng of persons ran to the quay for refuge. The city of Lisbon
was in profound darkness. The quay and all the people on it disappeared.
If it and they went down--not a single corpse, not a shred of clothing,
not a plank of the quay, nor so much as a splinter of it ever floated to
the surface.


The New Dominant.

I mean "primarily" all that opposes Exclusionism--

That Development or Progress or Evolution is Attempt to Positivize, and
is a mechanism by which a positive existence is recruited--that what we
call existence is a womb of infinitude, and is itself only
incubatory--that eventually all attempts are broken down by the falsely
excluded. Subjectively, the breaking down is aided by our own sense of
false and narrow limitations. So the classic and academic artists
wrought positivist paintings, and expressed the only ideal that I am
conscious of, though we so often hear of "ideals" instead of different
manifestations, artistically, scientifically, theologically,
politically, of the One Ideal. They sought to satisfy, in its artistic
aspect, cosmic craving for unity or completeness, sometimes called
harmony, called beauty in some aspects. By disregard they sought
completeness. But the light-effects that they disregarded, and their
narrow confinement to standardized subjects brought on the revolt of the
Impressionists. So the Puritans tried to systematize, and they
disregarded physical needs, or vices, or relaxations: they were invaded
and overthrown when their narrowness became obvious and intolerable. All
things strive for positiveness, for themselves, or for quasi-systems of
which they are parts. Formality and the mathematic, the regular and the
uniform are aspects of the positive state--but the Positive is the
Universal--so all attempted positiveness that seems to satisfy in the
aspects of formality and regularity, sooner or later disqualifies in the
aspect of wideness or universalness. So there is revolt against the
science of today, because the formulated utterances that were regarded
as final truths in a past generation, are now seen to be
insufficiencies. Every pronouncement that has opposed our own
acceptances has been found to be a composition like any academic
painting: something that is arbitrarily cut off from relations with
environment, or framed off from interfering and disturbing data, or
outlined with disregards. Our own attempt has been to take in the
included, but also to take in the excluded into wider expressions. We
accept, however, that for every one of our expressions there are
irreconcilables somewhere--that final utterance would include all
things. However, of such is the gossip of angels. The final is
unutterable in quasi-existence, where to think is to include but also to
exclude, or be not final. If we admit that for every opinion we have
expressed, there must somewhere be an irreconcilable, we are
Intermediatists and not positivists; not even higher positivists. Of
course it may be that some day we shall systematize and dogmatize and
refuse to think of anything that we may be accused of disregarding, and
believe instead of merely accepting: then, if we could have a wider
system, which would acknowledge no irreconcilables we'd be higher
positivists. So long as we only accept, we are not higher positivists,
but our feeling is that the New Dominant, even though we have thought of
it only as another enslavement, will be the nucleus for higher
positivism--and that it will be the means of elevating into infinitude a
new batch of fixed stars--until, as a recruiting instrument, it, too,
will play out, and will give way to some new medium for generating
absoluteness. It is our acceptance that all astronomers of today have
lost their souls, or, rather, all chance of attaining Entity, but that
Copernicus and Kepler and Galileo and Newton, and, conceivably,
Leverrier are now fixed stars. Some day I shall attempt to identify
them. In all this, I think we're quite a Moses. We point out the
Promised Land, but, unless we be cured of our Intermediatism, will never
be reported in _Monthly Notices_, ourself.

In our acceptance, Dominants, in their succession, displace preceding
Dominants not only because they are more nearly positive, but because
the old Dominants, as recruiting mediums, play out. Our expression is
that the New Dominant, of Wider Inclusions, is now manifesting
throughout the world, and that the old Exclusionism is everywhere
breaking down. In physics Exclusionism is breaking down by its own
researches in radium, for instance, and in its speculations upon
electrons, or its merging away into metaphysics, and by the desertion
that has been going on for many years, by such men as Gurney, Crookes,
Wallace, Flammarion, Lodge, to formerly disregarded phenomena--no longer
called "spiritualism" but now "psychic research." Biology is in chaos:
conventional Darwinites mixed up with mutationists and orthogenesists
and followers of Wisemann, who take from Darwinism one of its
pseudo-bases, and nevertheless try to reconcile their heresies with
orthodoxy. The painters are metaphysicians and psychologists. The
breaking down of Exclusionism in China and Japan and in the United
States has astonished History. The science of astronomy is going
downward so that, though Pickering, for instance, did speculate upon a
Trans-Neptunian planet, and Lowell did try to have accepted heretical
ideas as to marks on Mars, attention is now minutely focused upon such
technicalities as variations in shades of Jupiter's fourth satellite. I
think that, in general acceptance, over-refinement indicates decadence.

I think that the stronghold of Inclusionism is in aeronautics. I think
that the stronghold of the Old Dominant, when it was new, was in the
invention of the telescope. Or that coincidentally with the breakdown of
Exclusionism appears the means of finding out--whether there are vast
aerial fields of ice and floating lakes full of frogs and fishes or
not--where carved stones and black substances and great quantities of
vegetable matter and flesh, which may be dragons' flesh, come
from--whether there are inter-planetary trade routes and vast areas
devastated by Super-Tamerlanes--whether sometimes there are visitors to
this earth--who might be pursued and captured and questioned.


I have industriously sought data for an expression upon birds, but the
prospecting has not been very quasi-satisfactory. I think I rather
emphasize our industriousness, because a charge likely to be brought
against the attitude of Acceptance is that one who only accepts must be
one of languid interest and little application of energy. It doesn't
seem to work out: we are very industrious. I suggest to some of our
disciples that they look into the matter of messages upon pigeons, of
course attributed to earthly owners, but said to be undecipherable. I'd
do it, ourselves, only that would be selfish. That's more of the
Intermediatism that will keep us out of the firmament: Positivism is
absolute egoism. But look back in the time of Andrée's Polar Expedition.
Pigeons that would have no publicity ordinarily, were often reported at
that time.

In the _Zoologist_, 3-18-21, is recorded an instance of a bird (puffin)
that had fallen to the ground with a fractured head. Interesting, but
mere speculation--but what solid object, high in the air, had that bird
struck against?

Tremendous red rain in France, Oct. 16 and 17, 1846; great storm at the
time, and red rain supposed to have been colored by matter swept up from
this earth's surface, and then precipitated (_Comptes Rendus_, 23-832).
But in _Comptes Rendus_, 24-625, the description of this red rain
differs from one's impression of red, sandy or muddy water. It is said
that this rain was so vividly red and so blood-like that many persons in
France were terrified. Two analyses are given (_Comptes Rendus_,
24-812). One chemist notes a great quantity of corpuscles--whether
blood-like corpuscles or not--in the matter. The other chemist sets down
organic matter at 35 per cent. It may be that an inter-planetary dragon
had been slain somewhere, or that this red fluid, in which were many
corpuscles, came from something not altogether pleasant to contemplate,
about the size of the Catskill Mountains, perhaps--but the present
datum is that with this substance, larks, quail, ducks, and water hens,
some of them alive, fell at Lyons and Grenoble and other places.

I have notes upon other birds that have fallen from the sky, but
unaccompanied by the red rain that makes the fall of birds in France
peculiar, and very peculiar, if it be accepted that the red substance
was extra-mundane. The other notes are upon birds that have fallen from
the sky, in the midst of storms, or of exhausted, but living, birds,
falling not far from a storm-area. But now we shall have an instance for
which I can find no parallel: fall of dead birds, from a clear sky,
far-distant from any storm to which they could be attributed--so remote
from any discoverable storm that--

My own notion is that, in the summer of 1896, something, or some beings,
came as near to this earth as they could, upon a hunting expedition;
that, in the summer of 1896, an expedition of super-scientists passed
over this earth, and let down a dragnet--and what would it catch,
sweeping through the air, supposing it to have reached not quite to this

In the _Monthly Weather Review_, May, 1917, W.L. McAtee quotes from the
Baton Rouge correspondence to the _Philadelphia Times_:

That, in the summer of 1896, into the streets of Baton Rouge, La., and
from a "clear sky," fell hundreds of dead birds. There were wild ducks
and cat birds, woodpeckers, and "many birds of strange plumage," some of
them resembling canaries.

Usually one does not have to look very far from any place to learn of a
storm. But the best that could be done in this instance was to say:

"There had been a storm on the coast of Florida."

And, unless he have psycho-chemic repulsion for the explanation, the
reader feels only momentary astonishment that dead birds from a storm in
Florida should fall from an unstormy sky in Louisiana, and with his
intellect greased like the plumage of a wild duck, the datum then drops

Our greasy, shiny brains. That they may be of some use after all: that
other modes of existence place a high value upon them as lubricants;
that we're hunted for them; a hunting expedition to this earth--the
newspapers report a tornado.

If from a clear sky, or a sky in which there were no driven clouds, or
other evidences of still-continuing wind-power--or, if from a storm in
Florida, it could be accepted that hundreds of birds had fallen far
away, in Louisiana, I conceive, conventionally, of heavier objects
having fallen in Alabama, say, and of the fall of still heavier objects
still nearer the origin in Florida.

The sources of information of the Weather Bureau are widespread.

It has no records of such falls.

So a dragnet that was let down from above somewhere--

Or something that I learned from the more scientific of the
investigators of psychic phenomena:

The reader begins their works with prejudice against telepathy
and everything else of psychic phenomena. The writers deny
spirit-communication, and say that the seeming data are data of "only
telepathy." Astonishing instances of seeming clairvoyance--"only
telepathy." After a while the reader finds himself agreeing that it's
only telepathy--which, at first, had been intolerable to him.

So maybe, in 1896, a super-dragnet did not sweep through this earth's
atmosphere, gathering up all the birds within its field, the meshes then
suddenly breaking--

Or that the birds of Baton Rouge were only from the Super-Sargasso Sea--

Upon which we shall have another expression. We thought we'd settled
that, and we thought we'd establish that, but nothing's ever settled,
and nothing's ever established, in a real sense, if, in a real sense,
there is nothing in quasiness.

I suppose there had been a storm somewhere, the storm in Florida,
perhaps, and many birds had been swept upward into the Super-Sargasso
Sea. It has frigid regions and it has tropical regions--that birds of
diverse species had been swept upward, into an icy region, where,
huddling together for warmth, they had died. Then, later, they had been
dislodged--meteor coming along--boat--bicycle--dragon--don't know what
did come along--something dislodged them.

So leaves of trees, carried up there in whirlwinds, staying there years,
ages, perhaps only a few months, but then falling to this earth at an
unseasonable time for dead leaves--fishes carried up there, some of them
dying and drying, some of them living in volumes of water that are in
abundance up there, or that fall sometimes in the deluges that we call

The astronomers won't think kindly of us, and we haven't done anything
to endear ourselves to the meteorologists--but we're weak and mawkish
Intermediatists--several times we've tried to get the aeronauts with
us--extraordinary things up there: things that curators of museums would
give up all hope of ever being fixed stars, to obtain: things left over
from whirlwinds of the time of the Pharaohs, perhaps: or that Elijah did
go up in the sky in something like a chariot, and may not be Vega, after
all, and that there may be a wheel or so left of whatever he went up in.
We basely suggest that it would bring a high price--but sell soon,
because after a while there'd be thousands of them hawked around--

We weakly drop a hint to the aeronauts.

In the _Scientific American_, 33-197, there is an account of some hay
that fell from the sky. From the circumstances we incline to accept that
this hay went up, in a whirlwind, from this earth, in the first place,
reached the Super-Sargasso Sea, and remained there a long time before
falling. An interesting point in this expression is the usual
attribution to a local and coinciding whirlwind, and identification of
it--and then data that make that local whirlwind unacceptable--

That, upon July 27, 1875, small masses of damp hay had fallen at
Monkstown, Ireland. In the _Dublin Daily Express_, Dr. J.W. Moore had
explained: he had found a nearby whirlwind, to the south of Monkstown,
that coincided. But, according to the _Scientific American_, a similar
fall had occurred near Wrexham, England, two days before.

In November, 1918, I made some studies upon light objects thrown into
the air. Armistice-day. I suppose I should have been more emotionally
occupied, but I made notes upon torn-up papers thrown high in the air
from windows of office buildings. Scraps of paper did stay together for
a while. Several minutes, sometimes.

_Cosmos_, 3-4-574:

That, upon the 10th of April, 1869, at Autriche (Indre-et-Loire) a
great number of oak leaves--enormous segregation of them--fell from the
sky. Very calm day. So little wind that the leaves fell almost
vertically. Fall lasted about ten minutes.

Flammarion, in _The Atmosphere_, p. 412, tells this story.

He has to find a storm.

He does find a squall--but it had occurred upon April 3rd.

Flammarion's two incredibilities are--that leaves could remain a week in
the air: that they could stay together a week in the air.

Think of some of your own observations upon papers thrown from an

Our one incredibility:

That these leaves had been whirled up six months before, when they were
common on the ground, and had been sustained, of course not in the air,
but in a region gravitationally inert; and had been precipitated by the
disturbances of April rains.

I have no records of leaves that have so fallen from the sky in October
or November, the season when one might expect dead leaves to be raised
from one place and precipitated somewhere else. I emphasize that this
occurred in April.

_La Nature_, 1889-2-94:

That, upon April 19, 1889, dried leaves, of different species, oak, elm,
etc., fell from the sky. This day, too, was a calm day. The fall was
tremendous. The leaves were seen to fall fifteen minutes, but, judging
from the quantity on the ground, it is the writer's opinion that they
had already been falling half an hour. I think that the geyser of
corpses that sprang from Riobamba toward the sky must have been an
interesting sight. If I were a painter, I'd like that subject. But this
cataract of dried leaves, too, is a study in the rhythms of the dead. In
this datum, the point most agreeable to us is the very point that the
writer in _La Nature_ emphasizes. Windlessness. He says that the surface
of the Loire was "absolutely smooth." The river was strewn with leaves
as far as he could see.

_L'Astronomie_, 1894-194:

That, upon the 7th of April, 1894, dried leaves fell at Clairvaux and
Outre-Aube, France. The fall is described as prodigious. Half an hour.
Then, upon the 11th, a fall of dried leaves occurred at Pontcarré.

It is in this recurrence that we found some of our opposition to the
conventional explanation. The Editor (Flammarion) explains. He says that
the leaves had been caught up in a cyclone which had expended its force;
that the heavier leaves had fallen first. We think that that was all
right for 1894, and that it was quite good enough for 1894. But, in
these more exacting days, we want to know how wind-power insufficient to
hold some leaves in the air could sustain others four days.

The factors in this expression are unseasonableness, not for dried
leaves, but for prodigious numbers of dried leaves; direct fall,
windlessness, month of April, and localization in France. The factor of
localization is interesting. Not a note have I upon fall of leaves from
the sky, except these notes. Were the conventional explanation, or "old
correlate" acceptable, it would seem that similar occurrences in other
regions should be as frequent as in France. The indication is that there
may be quasi-permanent undulations in the Super-Sargasso Sea, or a
pronounced inclination toward France--


That there may be a nearby world complementary to this world, where
autumn occurs at the time that is springtime here.

Let some disciple have that.

But there may be a dip toward France, so that leaves that are borne high
there, are more likely to be held in suspension than highflying leaves
elsewhere. Some other time I shall take up Super-geography, and be
guilty of charts. I think, now, that the Super-Sargasso Sea is an
oblique belt, with changing ramifications, over Great Britain, France,
Italy, and on to India. Relatively to the United States I am not very
clear, but think especially of the Southern States.

The preponderance of our data indicates frigid regions aloft.
Nevertheless such phenomena as putrefaction have occurred often enough
to make super-tropical regions, also, acceptable. We shall have one more
datum upon the Super-Sargasso Sea. It seems to me that, by this time,
our requirements of support and reinforcement and agreement have been
quite as rigorous for acceptance as ever for belief: at least for full
acceptance. By virtue of mere acceptance, we may, in some later book,
deny the Super-Sargasso Sea, and find that our data relate to some other
complementary world instead--or the moon--and have abundant data for
accepting that the moon is not more than twenty or thirty miles away.
However, the Super-Sargasso Sea functions very well as a nucleus around
which to gather data that oppose Exclusionism. That is our main motive:
to oppose Exclusionism.

Or our agreement with cosmic processes. The climax of our general
expression upon the Super-Sargasso Sea. Coincidentally appears something
else that may overthrow it later.

_Notes and Queries_, 8-12-228:

That in the province of Macerata, Italy (summer of 1897?) an immense
number of small, blood-colored clouds covered the sky. About an hour
later a storm broke, and myriad seeds fell to the ground. It is said
that they were identified as products of a tree found only in Central
Africa and the Antilles.

If--in terms of conventional reasoning--these seeds had been high in the
air, they had been in a cold region. But it is our acceptance that these
seeds had, for a considerable time, been in a warm region, and for a
time longer than is attributable to suspension by wind-power:

"It is said that a great number of the seeds were in the first stage of


The New Dominant.


In it we have a pseudo-standard.

We have a datum, and we give it an interpretation, in accordance with
our pseudo-standard. At present we have not the delusions of Absolutism
that may have translated some of the positivists of the nineteenth
century to heaven. We are Intermediatists--but feel a lurking suspicion
that we may some day solidify and dogmatize and illiberalize into higher
positivists. At present we do not ask whether something be reasonable or
preposterous, because we recognize that by reasonableness and
preposterousness are meant agreement and disagreement with a
standard--which must be a delusion--though not absolutely, of
course--and must some day be displaced by a more advanced
quasi-delusion. Scientists in the past have taken the positivist
attitude--is this or that reasonable or unreasonable? Analyze them and
we find that they meant relatively to a standard, such as Newtonism,
Daltonism, Darwinism, or Lyellism. But they have written and spoken and
thought as if they could mean real reasonableness and real

So our pseudo-standard is Inclusionism, and, if a datum be a correlate
to a more widely inclusive outlook as to this earth and its externality
and relations with externality, its harmony with Inclusionism admits it.
Such was the process, and such was the requirement for admission in the
days of the Old Dominant: our difference is in underlying
Intermediatism, or consciousness that though we're more nearly real, we
and our standards are only quasi--

Or that all things--in our intermediate state--are phantoms in a
super-mind in a dreaming state--but striving to awaken to realness.

Though in some respects our own Intermediatism is unsatisfactory, our
underlying feeling is--

That in a dreaming mind awakening is accelerated--if phantoms in that
mind know that they're only phantoms in a dream. Of course, they too are
quasi, or--but in a relative sense--they have an essence of what is
called realness. They are derived from experience or from
senes-relations, even though grotesque distortions. It seems acceptable
that a table that is seen when one is awake is more nearly real than a
dreamed table, which, with fifteen or twenty legs, chases one.

So now, in the twentieth century, with a change of terms, and a change
in underlying consciousness, our attitude toward the New Dominant is the
attitude of the scientists of the nineteenth century to the Old
Dominant. We do not insist that our data and interpretations shall be
as shocking, grotesque, evil, ridiculous, childish, insincere,
laughable, ignorant to nineteenth-centuryites as were their data and
interpretations to the medieval-minded. We ask only whether data and
interpretations correlate. If they do, they are acceptable, perhaps only
for a short time, or as nuclei, or scaffolding, or preliminary sketches,
or as gropings and tentativenesses. Later, of course, when we cool off
and harden and radiate into space most of our present mobility, which
expresses in modesty and plasticity, we shall acknowledge no
scaffoldings, gropings or tentativenesses, but think we utter absolute
facts. A point in Intermediatism here is opposed to most current
speculations upon Development. Usually one thinks of the spiritual as
higher than the material, but, in our acceptance, quasi-existence is a
means by which the absolutely immaterial materializes absolutely, and,
being intermediate, is a state in which nothing is finally either
immaterial or material, all objects, substances, thoughts, occupying
some grade of approximation one way or the other. Final solidification
of the ethereal is, to us, the goal of cosmic ambition. Positivism is
Puritanism. Heat is Evil. Final Good is Absolute Frigidity. An Arctic
winter is very beautiful, but I think that an interest in monkeys
chattering in palm trees accounts for our own Intermediatism.


Our confusion here, out of which we are attempting to make quasi-order,
is as great as it has been throughout this book, because we have not the
positivist's delusion of homogeneity. A positivist would gather all data
that seem to relate to one kind of visitors and coldly disregard all
other data. I think of as many different kinds of visitors to this earth
as there are visitors to New York, to a jail, to a church--some persons
go to church to pick pockets, for instance.

My own acceptance is that either a world or a vast
super-construction--or a world, if red substances and fishes fell from
it--hovered over India in the summer of 1860. Something then fell from
somewhere, July 17, 1860, at Dhurmsalla. Whatever "it" was, "it" is so
persistently alluded to as "a meteorite" that I look back and see that I
adopted this convention myself. But in the London _Times_, Dec. 26,
1860, Syed Abdoolah, Professor of Hindustani, University College,
London, writes that he had sent to a friend in Dhurmsalla, for an
account of the stones that had fallen at that place. The answer:

"... divers forms and sizes, many of which bore great resemblance to
ordinary cannon balls just discharged from engines of war."

It's an addition to our data of spherical objects that have arrived upon
this earth. Note that they are spherical stone objects.

And, in the evening of this same day that something--took a shot at
Dhurmsalla--or sent objects upon which there may be decipherable
markings--lights were seen in the air--

I think, myself, of a number of things, beings, whatever they were,
trying to get down, but resisted, like balloonists, at a certain
altitude, trying to get farther up, but resisted.

Not in the least except to good positivists, or the homogeneous-minded,
does this speculation interfere with the concept of some other world
that is in successful communication with certain esoteric ones upon this
earth, by a code of symbols that print in rock, like symbols of
telephotographers in selenium.

I think that sometimes, in favorable circumstances, emissaries have come
to this earth--secret meetings--

Of course it sounds--


Secret meetings--emissaries--esoteric ones in Europe, before the war
broke out--

And those who suggested that such phenomena could be.

However, as to most of our data, I think of super-things that have
passed close to this earth with no more interest in this earth than have
passengers upon a steamship in the bottom of the sea--or passengers may
have a keen interest, but circumstances of schedules and commercial
requirements forbid investigation of the bottom of the sea.

Then, on the other hand, we may have data of super-scientific attempts
to investigate phenomena of this earth from above--perhaps by beings
from so far away that they had never even heard that something,
somewhere, asserts a legal right to this earth.

Altogether, we're good intermediatists, but we can't be very good

Still another source of the merging away of our data:

That, upon general principles of Continuity, if super-vessels, or
super-vehicles, have traversed this earth's atmosphere, there must be
mergers between them and terrestrial phenomena: observations upon them
must merge away into observations upon clouds and balloons and meteors.
We shall begin with data that we cannot distinguish ourselves and work
our way out of mergers into extremes.

In the _Observatory_, 35-168, it is said that, according to a newspaper,
March 6, 1912, residents of Warmley, England, were greatly excited by
something that was supposed to be "a splendidly illuminated aeroplane,
passing over the village." "The machine was apparently traveling at a
tremendous rate, and came from the direction of Bath, and went on toward
Gloucester." The Editor says that it was a large, triple-headed
fireball. "Tremendous indeed!" he says. "But we are prepared for
anything nowadays."

That is satisfactory. We'd not like to creep up stealthily and then jump
out of a corner with our data. This Editor, at least, is prepared to

_Nature_, Oct. 27, 1898:

A correspondent writes that, in the County Wicklow, Ireland, at about 6
o'clock in the evening, he had seen, in the sky, an object that looked
like the moon in its three-quarter aspect. We note the shape which
approximates to triangularity, and we note that in color it is said to
have been golden yellow. It moved slowly, and in about five minutes
disappeared behind a mountain.

The Editor gives his opinion that the object may have been an escaped

In _Nature_, Aug. 11, 1898, there is a story, taken from the July number
of the _Canadian Weather Review_, by the meteorologist, F.F. Payne: that
he had seen, in the Canadian sky, a large, pear-shaped object, sailing
rapidly. At first he supposed that the object was a balloon, "its
outline being sharply defined." "But, as no cage was seen, it was
concluded that it must be a mass of cloud." In about six minutes this
object became less definite--whether because of increasing distance or
not--"the mass became less dense, and finally it disappeared." As to
cyclonic formation--"no whirling motion could be seen."

_Nature_, 58-294:

That, upon July 8, 1898, a correspondent had seen, at Kiel, an object in
the sky, colored red by the sun, which had set. It was about as broad as
a rainbow, and about twelve degrees high. "It remained in its original
brightness about five minutes, and then faded rapidly, and then remained
almost stationary again, finally disappearing about eight minutes after
I first saw it."

In an intermediate existence, we quasi-persons have nothing to judge by
because everything is its own opposite. If a hundred dollars a week be a
standard of luxurious living to some persons, it is poverty to others.
We have instances of three objects that were seen in the sky in a space
of three months, and this concurrence seems to me to be something to
judge by. Science has been built upon concurrence: so have been most of
the fallacies and fanaticisms. I feel the positivism of a Leverrier, or
instinctively take to the notion that all three of these observations
relate to the same object. However, I don't formulate them and predict
the next transit. Here's another chance for me to become a fixed
star--but as usual--oh, well--

A point in Intermediatism:

That the Intermediatist is likely to be a flaccid compromiser.

Our own attitude:

Ours is a partly positive and partly negative state, or a state in which
nothing is finally positive or finally negative--

But, if positivism attract you, go ahead and try: you will be in harmony
with cosmic endeavor--but Continuity will resist you. Only to have
appearance in quasiness is to be proportionately positive, but beyond a
degree of attempted positivism, Continuity will rise to pull you back.
Success, as it is called--though there is only success-failure in
Intermediateness--will, in Intermediateness, be yours proportionately as
you are in adjustment with its own state, or some positivism mixed with
compromise and retreat. To be very positive is to be a Napoleon
Bonaparte, against whom the rest of civilization will sooner or later
combine. For interesting data, see newspaper accounts of fate of one
Dowie, of Chicago.

Intermediatism, then, is recognition that our state is only a
quasi-state: it is no bar to one who desires to be positive: it is
recognition that he cannot be positive and remain in a state that is
positive-negative. Or that a great positivist--isolated--with no system
to support him--will be crucified, or will starve to death, or will be
put in jail and beaten to death--that these are the birth-pangs of
translation to the Positive Absolute.

So, though positive-negative, myself, I feel the attraction of the
positive pole of our intermediate state, and attempt to correlate these
three data: to see them homogeneously; to think that they relate to one

In the aeronautic journals and in the London _Times_ there is no mention
of escaped balloons, in the summer or fall of 1898. In the _New York
Times_ there is no mention of ballooning in Canada or the United States,
in the summer of 1898.

London _Times_, Sept. 29, 1885:

A clipping from the _Royal Gazette_, of Bermuda, of Sept. 8, 1885, sent
to the _Times_ by General Lefroy:

That, upon Aug. 27, 1885, at about 8:30 A.M., there was observed by Mrs.
Adelina D. Bassett, "a strange object in the clouds, coming from the
north." She called the attention of Mrs. L. Lowell to it, and they were
both somewhat alarmed. However, they continued to watch the object
steadily for some time. It drew nearer. It was of triangular shape, and
seemed to be about the size of a pilot-boat mainsail, with chains
attached to the bottom of it. While crossing the land it had appeared to
descend, but, as it went out to sea, it ascended, and continued to
ascend, until it was lost to sight high in the clouds.

Or with such power to ascend, I don't think much myself of the notion
that it was an escaped balloon, partly deflated. Nevertheless, General
Lefroy, correlating with Exclusionism, attempts to give a terrestrial
interpretation to this occurrence. He argues that the thing may have
been a balloon that had escaped from France or England--or the only
aerial thing of terrestrial origin that, even to this date of about
thirty-five years later, has been thought to have crossed the Atlantic
Ocean. He accounts for the triangular form by deflation--"a shapeless
bag, barely able to float." My own acceptance is that great deflation
does not accord with observations upon its power to ascend.

In the _Times_, Oct. 1, 1885, Charles Harding, of the R.M.S., argues
that if it had been a balloon from Europe, surely it would have been
seen and reported by many vessels. Whether he was as good a Briton as
the General or not, he shows awareness of the United States--or that the
thing may have been a partly collapsed balloon that had escaped from the
United States.

General Lefroy wrote to _Nature_ about it (_Nature_, 33-99),
saying--whatever his sensitivenesses may have been--that the columns of
the _Times_ were "hardly suitable" for such a discussion. If, in the
past, there had been more persons like General Lefroy, we'd have better
than the mere fragments of data that in most cases are too broken up
very well to piece together. He took the trouble to write to a friend of
his, W.H. Gosling, of Bermuda--who also was an extraordinary person. He
went to the trouble of interviewing Mrs. Bassett and Mrs. Lowell. Their
description to him was somewhat different:

An object from which nets were suspended--

Deflated balloon, with its network hanging from it--

A super-dragnet?

That something was trawling overhead?

The birds of Baton Rouge.

Mr. Gosling wrote that the item of chains, or suggestion of a basket
that had been attached, had originated with Mr. Bassett, who had not
seen the object. Mr. Gosling mentioned a balloon that had escaped from
Paris in July. He tells of a balloon that fell in Chicago, September 17,
or three weeks later than the Bermuda object.

It's one incredibility against another, with disregards and convictions
governed by whichever of the two Dominants looms stronger in each
reader's mind. That he can't think for himself any more than I can is

My own correlates:

I think that we're fished for. It may be that we're highly esteemed by
super-epicures somewhere. It makes me more cheerful when I think that we
may be of some use after all. I think that dragnets have often come down
and have been mistaken for whirlwinds and waterspouts. Some accounts of
seeming structure in whirlwinds and waterspouts are astonishing. And I
have data that, in this book, I can't take up at all--mysterious
disappearances. I think we're fished for. But this is a little
expression on the side: relates to trespassers; has nothing to do with
the subject that I shall take up at some other time--or our use to some
other mode of seeming that has a legal right to us.

_Nature_, 33-137:

"Our Paris correspondent writes that in relation to the balloon which is
said to have been seen over Bermuda, in September, no ascent took place
in France which can account for it."

Last of August: not September. In the London _Times_ there is no mention
of balloon ascents in Great Britain, in the summer of 1885, but mention
of two ascents in France. Both balloons had escaped. In _L'Aéronaute_,
August, 1885, it is said that these balloons had been sent up from fêtes
of the fourteenth of July--44 days before the observation at Bermuda.
The aeronauts were Gower and Eloy. Gower's balloon was found floating on
the ocean, but Eloy's balloon was not found. Upon the 17th of July it
was reported by a sea captain: still in the air; still inflated.

But this balloon of Eloy's was a small exhibition balloon, made for
short ascents from fêtes and fair grounds. In _La Nature_, 1885-2-131,
it is said that it was a very small balloon, incapable of remaining long
in the air.

As to contemporaneous ballooning in the United States, I find only one
account: an ascent in Connecticut, July 29, 1885. Upon leaving this
balloon, the aeronauts had pulled the "rip cord," "turning it inside
out." (_New York Times_, Aug. 10, 1885.)

To the Intermediatist, the accusation of "anthropomorphism" is
meaningless. There is nothing in anything that is unique or positively
different. We'd be materialists were it not quite as rational to express
the material in terms of the immaterial as to express the immaterial in
terms of the material. Oneness of allness in quasiness. I will engage to
write the formula of any novel in psycho-chemic terms, or draw its
graph in psycho-mechanic terms: or write, in romantic terms, the
circumstances and sequences of any chemic or electric or magnetic
reaction: or express any historic event in algebraic terms--or see Boole
and Jevons for economic situations expressed algebraically.

I think of the Dominants as I think of persons--not meaning that they
are real persons--not meaning that we are real persons--

Or the Old Dominant and its jealousy, and its suppression of all things
and thoughts that endangered its supremacy. In reading discussions of
papers, by scientific societies, I have often noted how, when they
approached forbidden--or irreconcilable--subjects, the discussions were
thrown into confusion and ramification. It's as if scientific
discussions have often been led astray--as if purposefully--as if by
something directive, hovering over them. Of course I mean only the
Spirit of all Development. Just so, in any embryo, cells that would tend
to vary from the appearances of their era are compelled to correlate.

In _Nature_, 90-169, Charles Tilden Smith writes that, at Chisbury,
Wiltshire, England, April 8, 1912, he saw something in the sky--

"--unlike anything that I had ever seen before."

"Although I have studied the skies for many years, I have never seen
anything like it."

He saw two stationary dark patches upon clouds.

The extraordinary part:

They were stationary upon clouds that were rapidly moving.

They were fan-shaped--or triangular--and varied in size, but kept the
same position upon different clouds as cloud after cloud came along. For
more than half an hour Mr. Smith watched these dark patches--

His impression as to the one that appeared first:

That it was "really a heavy shadow cast upon a thin veil of clouds by
some unseen object away in the west, which was intercepting the sun's

Upon page 244, of this volume of _Nature_, is a letter from another
correspondent, to the effect that similar shadows are cast by mountains
upon clouds, and that no doubt Mr. Smith was right in attributing the
appearance to "some unseen object, which was intercepting the sun's
rays." But the Old Dominant that was a jealous Dominant, and the wrath
of the Old Dominant against such an irreconcilability as large, opaque
objects in the sky, casting down shadows upon clouds. Still the
Dominants are suave very often, or are not absolute gods, and the way
attention was led away from this subject is an interesting study in
quasi-divine bamboozlement. Upon page 268, Charles J.P. Cave, the
meteorologist, writes that, upon April 5 and 8, at Ditcham Park,
Petersfield, he had observed a similar appearance, while watching some
pilot balloons--but he describes something not in the least like a
shadow on clouds, but a stationary cloud--the inference seems to be that
the shadows at Chisbury may have been shadows of pilot balloons. Upon
page 322, another correspondent writes upon shadows cast by mountains;
upon page 348 someone else carries on the divergence by discussing this
third letter: then someone takes up the third letter mathematically; and
then there is a correction of error in this mathematic demonstration--I
think it looks very much like what I think it looks like.

But the mystery here:

That the dark patches at Chisbury could not have been cast by stationary
pilot balloons that were to the west, or that were between clouds and
the setting sun. If, to the west of Chisbury, a stationary object were
high in the air, intercepting the sun's rays, the shadow of the
stationary object would not have been stationary, but would have moved
higher and higher with the setting of the sun.

I have to think of something that is in accord with no other data

A luminous body--not the sun--in the sky--but, because of some unknown
principle or atmospheric condition, its light extended down only about
to the clouds; that from it were suspended two triangular objects, like
the object that was seen in Bermuda; that it was this light that fell
short of the earth that these objects intercepted; that the objects were
drawn up and lowered from something overhead, so that, in its light,
their shadows changed size.

If my grope seem to have no grasp in it, and, if a stationary balloon
will, in half an hour, not cast a stationary shadow from the setting
sun, we have to think of two triangular objects that accurately
maintained positions in a line between sun and clouds, and at the same
time approached and receded from clouds. Whatever it may have been, it's
enough to make the devout make the sign of the crucible, or whatever the
devotees of the Old Dominant do in the presence of a new correlate.

Vast, black thing poised like a crow over the moon.

It is our acceptance that these two shadows of Chisbury looked, from the
moon, like vast things, black as crows, poised over the earth. It is our
acceptance that two triangular luminosities and then two triangular
patches, like vast black things, poised like crows over the moon, and,
like the triangularities at Chisbury, have been seen upon, or over, the

_Scientific American_, 46-49:

Two triangular, luminous appearances reported by several observers in
Lebanon, Conn., evening of July 3, 1882, on the moon's upper limb. They
disappeared, and two dark triangular appearances that looked like
notches were seen three minutes later upon the lower limb. They
approached each other, met and instantly disappeared.

The merger here is notches that have at times been seen upon the moon's
limb: thought to be cross sections of craters (_Monthly Notices,
R.A.S._, 37-432). But these appearances of July 3, 1882, were vast upon
the moon--"seemed to be cutting off or obliterating nearly a quarter of
its surface."

Something else that may have looked like a vast black crow poised over
this earth from the moon:

_Monthly Weather Review_, 41-599:

Description of a shadow in the sky, of some unseen body, April 8, 1913,
Fort Worth, Texas--supposed to have been cast by an unseen cloud--this
patch of shade moved with the declining sun.

_Rept. Brit. Assoc._, 1854-410:

Account by two observers of a faint but distinctly triangular object,
visible for six nights in the sky. It was observed from two stations
that were not far apart. But the parallax was considerable. Whatever it
was, it was, acceptably, relatively close to this earth.

I should say that relatively to phenomena of light we are in confusion
as great as some of the discords that orthodoxy is in relatively to
light. Broadly and intermediatistically, our position is:

That light is not really and necessarily light--any more than is
anything else really and necessarily anything--but an interpretation of
a mode of force, as I suppose we have to call it, as light. At sea
level, the earth's atmosphere interprets sunlight as red or orange or
yellow. High up on mountains the sun is blue. Very high up on mountains
the zenith is black. Or it is orthodoxy to say that in inter-planetary
space, where there is no air, there is no light. So then the sun and
comets are black, but this earth's atmosphere, or, rather, dust
particles in it, interpret radiations from these black objects as light.

We look up at the moon.

The jet-black moon is so silvery white.

I have about fifty notes indicating that the moon has atmosphere:
nevertheless most astronomers hold out that the moon has no atmosphere.
They have to: the theory of eclipses would not work out otherwise. So,
arguing in conventional terms, the moon is black. Rather
astonishing--explorers upon the moon--stumbling and groping in intense
darkness--with telescopes powerful enough, we could see them stumbling
and groping in brilliant light.

Or, just because of familiarity, it is not now obvious to us how the
preposterousnesses of the old system must have seemed to the correlates
of the system preceding it.

Ye jet-black silvery moon.

Altogether, then, it may be conceivable that there are phenomena of
force that are interpretable as light as far down as the clouds, but not
in denser strata of air, or just the opposite of familiar

I now have some notes upon an occurrence that suggests a force not
interpreted by air as light, but interpreted, or reflected by the ground
as light. I think of something that, for a week, was suspended over
London: of an emanation that was not interpreted as light until it
reached the ground.

_Lancet_, June 1, 1867:

That every night for a week, a light had appeared in Woburn Square,
London, upon the grass of a small park, enclosed by railings. Crowds
gathering--police called out "for the special service of maintaining
order and making the populace move on." The Editor of the _Lancet_ went
to the Square. He says that he saw nothing but a patch of light falling
upon an arbor at the northeast corner of the enclosure. Seems to me that
that was interesting enough.

In this Editor we have a companion for Mr. Symons and Dr. Gray. He
suggests that the light came from a street lamp--does not say that he
could trace it to any such origin himself--but recommends that the
police investigate neighboring street lamps.

I'd not say that such a commonplace as light from a street lamp would
not attract and excite and deceive great crowds for a week--but I do
accept that any cop who was called upon for extra work would have needed
nobody's suggestion to settle that point the very first thing.

Or that something in the sky hung suspended over a London Square for a


_Knowledge_, Dec. 28, 1883:

"Seeing so many meteorological phenomena in your excellent paper,
_Knowledge_, I am tempted to ask for an explanation of the following,
which I saw when on board the British India Company's steamer _Patna_,
while on a voyage up the Persian Gulf. In May, 1880, on a dark night,
about 11:30 P.M., there suddenly appeared on each side of the ship an
enormous luminous wheel, whirling around, the spokes of which seemed to
brush the ship along. The spokes would be 200 or 300 yards long, and
resembled the birch rods of the dames' schools. Each wheel contained
about sixteen spokes, and, although the wheels must have been some 500
or 600 yards in diameter, the spokes could be distinctly seen all the
way round. The phosphorescent gleam seemed to glide along flat on the
surface of the sea, no light being visible in the air above the water.
The appearance of the spokes could be almost exactly represented by
standing in a boat and flashing a bull's eye lantern horizontally along
the surface of the water, round and round. I may mention that the
phenomenon was also seen by Captain Avern, of the _Patna_, and Mr.
Manning, third officer.

"Lee Fore Brace.

"P.S.--The wheels advanced along with the ship for about twenty

_Knowledge_, Jan. 11, 1884:

Letter from "A. Mc. D.":

That "Lee Fore Brace," "who sees 'so many meteorological phenomena in
your excellent paper,' should have signed himself 'The Modern Ezekiel,'
for his vision of wheels is quite as wonderful as the prophet's." The
writer then takes up the measurements that were given, and calculates a
velocity at the circumference of a wheel, of about 166 yards per second,
apparently considering that especially incredible. He then says: "From
the nom de plume he assumes, it might be inferred that your
correspondent is in the habit of 'sailing close to the wind.'" He asks
permission to suggest an explanation of his own. It is that before 11:30
P.M. there had been numerous accidents to the "main brace," and that it
had required splicing so often that almost any ray of light would have
taken on a rotary motion.

In _Knowledge_, Jan. 25, 1884, Mr. "Brace" answers and signs himself
"J.W. Robertson":

"I don't suppose A. Mc. D. means any harm, but I do think it's rather
unjust to say a man is drunk because he sees something out of the
common. If there's one thing I pride myself upon, it's being able to say
that never in my life have I indulged in anything stronger than water."
From this curiosity of pride, he goes on to say that he had not intended
to be exact, but to give his impressions of dimensions and velocity. He
ends amiably: "However, 'no offense taken, where I suppose none is

To this letter Mr. Proctor adds a note, apologizing for the publication
of "A. Mc. D's." letter, which had come about by a misunderstood
instruction. Then Mr. Proctor wrote disagreeable letters, himself,
about other persons--what else would you expect in a quasi-existence?

The obvious explanation of this phenomenon is that, under the surface of
the sea, in the Persian Gulf, was a vast luminous wheel: that it was the
light from its submerged spokes that Mr. Robertson saw, shining upward.
It seems clear that this light did shine upward from origin below the
surface of the sea. But at first it is not so clear how vast luminous
wheels, each the size of a village, ever got under the surface of the
Persian Gulf: also there may be some misunderstanding as to what they
were doing there.

A deep-sea fish, and its adaptation to a dense medium--

That, at least in some regions aloft, there is a medium dense even to

A deep-sea fish, brought to the surface of the ocean: in a relatively
attenuated medium, it disintegrates--

Super-constructions adapted to a dense medium in inter-planetary
space--sometimes, by stresses of various kinds, they are driven into
this earth's thin atmosphere--

Later we shall have data to support just this: that things entering this
earth's atmosphere disintegrate and shine with a light that is not the
light of incandescence: shine brilliantly, even if cold--

Vast wheel-like super-constructions--they enter this earth's atmosphere,
and, threatened with disintegration, plunge for relief into an ocean, or
into a denser medium.

Of course the requirements now facing us are:

Not only data of vast wheel-like super-constructions that have relieved
their distresses in the ocean, but data of enormous wheels that have
been seen in the air, or entering the ocean, or rising from the ocean
and continuing their voyages.

Very largely we shall concern ourselves with enormous fiery objects that
have either plunged into the ocean or risen from the ocean. Our
acceptance is that, though disruption may intensify into incandescence,
apart from disruption and its probable fieriness, things that enter this
earth's atmosphere have a cold light which would not, like light from
molten matter, be instantly quenched by water. Also it seems acceptable
that a revolving wheel would, from a distance, look like a globe; that a
revolving wheel, seen relatively close by, looks like a wheel in few
aspects. The mergers of ball-lightning and meteorites are not
resistances to us: our data are of enormous bodies.

So we shall interpret--and what does it matter?

Our attitude throughout this book:

That here are extraordinary data--that they never would be exhumed, and
never would be massed together, unless--

Here are the data:

Our first datum is of something that was once seen to enter an ocean.
It's from the puritanic publication, _Science_, which has yielded us
little material, or which, like most puritans, does not go upon a spree
very often. Whatever the thing could have been, my impression is of
tremendousness, or of bulk many times that of all meteorites in all
museums combined: also of relative slowness, or of long warning of
approach. The story, in _Science_, 5-242, is from an account sent to the
Hydrographic Office, at Washington, from the branch office, at San

That, at midnight, Feb. 24, 1885, Lat. 37° N., and Long. 170° E., or
somewhere between Yokohama and Victoria, the captain of the bark
_Innerwich_ was aroused by his mate, who had seen something unusual in
the sky. This must have taken appreciable time. The captain went on deck
and saw the sky turning fiery red. "All at once, a large mass of fire
appeared over the vessel, completely blinding the spectators." The fiery
mass fell into the sea. Its size may be judged by the volume of water
cast up by it, said to have rushed toward the vessel with a noise that
was "deafening." The bark was struck flat aback, and "a roaring, white
sea passed ahead." "The master, an old, experienced mariner, declared
that the awfulness of the sight was beyond description."

In _Nature_, 37-187, and _L'Astronomie_; 1887-76, we are told that an
object, described as "a large ball of fire," was seen to rise from the
sea, near Cape Race. We are told that it rose to a height of fifty feet,
and then advanced close to the ship, then moving away, remaining visible
about five minutes. The supposition in _Nature_ is that it was "ball
lightning," but Flammarion, _Thunder and Lightning_, p. 68, says that it
was enormous. Details in the American _Meteorological Journal_,
6-443--Nov. 12, 1887--British steamer _Siberian_--that the object had
moved "against the wind" before retreating--that Captain Moore said that
at about the same place he had seen such appearances before.

_Report of the British Association_, 1861-30:

That, upon June 18, 1845, according to the _Malta Times_, from the brig
_Victoria_, about 900 miles east of Adalia, Asia Minor (36° 40' 56", N.
Lat.: 13° 44' 36" E. Long.), three luminous bodies were seen to issue
from the sea, at about half a mile from the vessel. They were visible
about ten minutes.

The story was never investigated, but other accounts that seem
acceptably to be other observations upon this same sensational spectacle
came in, as if of their own accord, and were published by Prof.
Baden-Powell. One is a letter from a correspondent at Mt. Lebanon. He
describes only two luminous bodies. Apparently they were five times the
size of the moon: each had appendages, or they were connected by parts
that are described as "sail-like or streamer-like," looking like "large
flags blown out by a gentle breeze." The important point here is not
only suggestion of structure, but duration. The duration of meteors is a
few seconds: duration of fifteen seconds is remarkable, but I think
there are records up to half a minute. This object, if it were all one
object, was visible at Mt. Lebanon about one hour. An interesting
circumstance is that the appendages did not look like trains of meteors,
which shine by their own light, but "seemed to shine by light from the
main bodies."

About 900 miles west of the position of the _Victoria_ is the town of
Adalia, Asia Minor. At about the time of the observation reported by the
captain of the _Victoria_, the Rev. F. Hawlett, F.R.A.S., was in Adalia.
He, too, saw this spectacle, and sent an account to Prof. Baden-Powell.
In his view it was a body that appeared and then broke up. He places
duration at twenty minutes to half an hour.

In the _Report of the British Association_, 1860-82, the phenomenon was
reported from Syria and Malta, as two very large bodies "nearly joined."

_Rept. Brit. Assoc._, 1860-77:

That, at Cherbourg, France, Jan. 12, 1836, was seen a luminous body,
seemingly two-thirds the size of the moon. It seemed to rotate on an
axis. Central to it there seemed to be a dark cavity.

For other accounts, all indefinite, but distortable into data of
wheel-like objects in the sky, see _Nature_, 22-617; London _Times_,
Oct. 15, 1859; _Nature_, 21-225; _Monthly Weather Review_, 1883-264.

_L'Astronomie_, 1894-157:

That, upon the morning of Dec. 20, 1893, an appearance in the sky was
seen by many persons in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. A
luminous body passed overhead, from west to east, until at about 15
degrees in the eastern horizon, it appeared to stand still for fifteen
or twenty minutes. According to some descriptions it was the size of a
table. To some observers it looked like an enormous wheel. The light was
a brilliant white. Acceptably it was not an optical illusion--the noise
of its passage through the air was heard. Having been stationary, or
having seemed to stand still fifteen or twenty minutes, it disappeared,
or exploded. No sound of explosion was heard.

Vast wheel-like constructions. They're especially adapted to roll
through a gelatinous medium from planet to planet. Sometimes, because of
miscalculations, or because of stresses of various kinds, they enter
this earth's atmosphere. They're likely to explode. They have to
submerge in the sea. They stay in the sea awhile, revolving with
relative leisureliness, until relieved, and then emerge, sometimes close
to vessels. Seamen tell of what they see: their reports are interred in
scientific morgues. I should say that the general route of these
constructions is along latitudes not far from the latitudes of the
Persian Gulf.

_Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society_, 28-29:

That, upon April 4, 1901, about 8:30, in the Persian Gulf, Captain
Hoseason, of the steamship _Kilwa_, according to a paper read before the
Society by Captain Hoseason, was sailing in a sea in which there was no
phosphorescence--"there being no phosphorescence in the water."

I suppose I'll have to repeat that:

"... there being no phosphorescence in the water."

Vast shafts of light--though the captain uses the word
"ripples"--suddenly appeared. Shaft followed shaft, upon the surface of
the sea. But it was only a faint light, and, in about fifteen minutes,
died out: having appeared suddenly, having died out gradually. The
shafts revolved at a velocity of about 60 miles an hour.

Phosphorescent jellyfish correlate with the Old Dominant: in one of the
most heroic compositions of disregards in our experience, it was agreed,
in the discussion of Capt. Hoseason's paper, that the phenomenon was
probably pulsations of long strings of jellyfish.

_Nature_, 21-410:

Reprint of a letter from R.E. Harris, Commander of the A.H.N. Co.'s
steamship _Shahjehan_, to the Calcutta _Englishman_, Jan. 21, 1880:

That upon the 5th of June, 1880, off the coast of Malabar, at 10 P.M.,
water calm, sky cloudless, he had seen something that was so foreign to
anything that he had ever seen before, that he had stopped his ship. He
saw what he describes as waves of brilliant light, with spaces between.
Upon the water were floating patches of a substance that was not
identified. Thinking in terms of the conventional explanation of all
phosphorescence at sea, the captain at first suspected this substance.
However, he gives his opinion that it did no illuminating but was, with
the rest of the sea, illuminated by tremendous shafts of light. Whether
it was a thick and oily discharge from the engine of a submerged
construction or not, I think that I shall have to accept this substance
as a concomitant, because of another note. "As wave succeeded wave, one
of the most grand and brilliant, yet solemn, spectacles that one could
think of, was here witnessed."

_Jour. Roy. Met. Soc._, 32-280:

Extract from a letter from Mr. Douglas Carnegie, Blackheath, England.
Date some time in 1906--

"This last voyage we witnessed a weird and most extraordinary electric
display." In the Gulf of Oman, he saw a bank of apparently quiescent
phosphorescence: but, when within twenty yards of it, "shafts of
brilliant light came sweeping across the ship's bows at a prodigious
speed, which might be put down as anything between 60 and 200 miles an
hour." "These light bars were about 20 feet apart and most regular." As
to phosphorescence--"I collected a bucketful of water, and examined it
under the microscope, but could not detect anything abnormal." That the
shafts of light came up from something beneath the surface--"They first
struck us on our broadside, and I noticed that an intervening ship had
no effect on the light beams: they started away from the lee side of the
ship, just as if they had traveled right through it."

The Gulf of Oman is at the entrance to the Persian Gulf.

_Jour. Roy. Met. Soc._, 33-294:

Extract from a letter by Mr. S.C. Patterson, second officer of the P.
and O. steamship _Delta_: a spectacle which the _Journal_ continues to
call phosphorescent:

Malacca Strait, 2 A.M., March 14, 1907:

"... shafts which seemed to move round a center--like the spokes of a
wheel--and appeared to be about 300 yards long. The phenomenon lasted
about half an hour, during which time the ship had traveled six or seven
miles. It stopped suddenly."

_L'Astronomie_, 1891-312:

A correspondent writes that, in October, 1891, in the China Sea, he had
seen shafts or lances of light that had had the appearance of rays of a
searchlight, and that had moved like such rays.

_Nature_, 20-291:

Report to the Admiralty by Capt. Evans, the Hydrographer of the British

That Commander J.E. Pringle, of H.M.S. _Vulture_, had reported that, at
Lat. 26° 26' N., and Long. 53° 11' E.--in the Persian Gulf--May 15,
1879, he had noticed luminous waves or pulsations in the water, moving
at great speed. This time we have a definite datum upon origin somewhere
below the surface. It is said that these waves of light passed under the
_Vulture_. "On looking toward the east, the appearance was that of a
revolving wheel with a center on that bearing, and whose spokes were
illuminated, and, looking toward the west, a similar wheel appeared to
be revolving, but in the opposite direction." Or finally as to
submergence--"These waves of light extended from the surface well under
the water." It is Commander Pringle's opinion that the shafts
constituted one wheel, and that doubling was an illusion. He judges the
shafts to have been about 25 feet broad, and the spaces about 100.
Velocity about 84 miles an hour. Duration about 35 minutes. Time 9:40
P.M. Before and after this display the ship had passed through patches
of floating substance described as "oily-looking fish spawn."

Upon page 428 of this number of _Nature_, E.L. Moss says that, in April,
1875, when upon H.M.S. _Bulldog_, a few miles north of Vera Cruz, he had
seen a series of swift lines of light. He had dipped up some of the
water, finding in it animalcule, which would, however, not account for
phenomena of geometric formation and high velocity. If he means Vera
Cruz, Mexico, this is the only instance we have out of oriental waters.

_Scientific American_, 106-51:

That, in the _Nautical Meteorological Annual_, published by the Danish
Meteorological Institute, appears a report upon a "singular phenomenon"
that was seen by Capt. Gabe, of the Danish East Asiatic Co.'s steamship
_Bintang_. At 3 A.M., June 10, 1909, while sailing through the Straits
of Malacca, Captain Gabe saw a vast revolving wheel of light, flat upon
the water--"long arms issuing from a center around which the whole
system appeared to rotate." So vast was the appearance that only half of
it could be seen at a time, the center lying near the horizon. This
display lasted about fifteen minutes. Heretofore we have not been clear
upon the important point that forward motions of these wheels do not
synchronize with a vessel's motions, and freaks of disregard, or,
rather, commonplaces of disregard, might attempt to assimilate with
lights of a vessel. This time we are told that the vast wheel moved
forward, decreasing in brilliancy, and also in speed of rotation,
disappearing when the center was right ahead of the vessel--or my own
interpretation would be that the source of light was submerging deeper
and deeper and slowing down because meeting more and more resistance.

The Danish Meteorological Institute reports another instance:

That, when Capt. Breyer, of the Dutch steamer _Valentijn_, was in the
South China Sea, midnight, Aug. 12, 1910, he saw a rotation of flashes.
"It looked like a horizontal wheel, turning rapidly." This time it is
said that the appearance was above water. "The phenomenon was observed
by the captain, the first and second mates, and the first engineer, and
upon all of them it made a somewhat uncomfortable impression."

In general, if our expression be not immediately acceptable, we
recommend to rival interpreters that they consider the localization--with
one exception--of this phenomenon, to the Indian Ocean and adjacent waters,
or Persian Gulf on one side and China Sea on the other side. Though we're
Intermediatists, the call of attempted Positivism, in the aspect of
Completeness, is irresistible. We have expressed that from few aspects
would wheels of fire in the air look like wheels of fire, but, if we can
get it, we must have observation upon vast luminous wheels, not
interpretable as optical illusions, but enormous, substantial things
that have smashed down material resistances, and have been seen to
plunge into the ocean:

_Athenæum_, 1848-833:

That at the meeting of the British Association, 1848, Sir W.S. Harris
said that he had recorded an account sent to him of a vessel toward
which had whirled "two wheels of fire, which the men described as
rolling millstones of fire." "When they came near, an awful crash took
place: the topmasts were shivered to pieces." It is said that there was
a strong sulphurous odor.


_Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society_, 1-157:

Extract from the log of the bark _Lady of the Lake_, by Capt. F.W.

Communicated by R.H. Scott, F.R.S.:

That, upon the 22nd of March, 1870, at Lat. 5° 47' N., Long. 27° 52' W.,
the sailors of the _Lady of the Lake_ saw a remarkable object, or
"cloud," in the sky. They reported to the captain.

According to Capt. Banner, it was a cloud of circular form, with an
included semi-circle divided into four parts, the central dividing shaft
beginning at the center of the circle and extending far outward, and
then curving backward.

Geometricity and complexity and stability of form: and the small
likelihood of a cloud maintaining such diversity of features, to say
nothing of appearance of organic form.

The thing traveled from a point at about 20 degrees above the horizon to
a point about 80 degrees above. Then it settled down to the northeast,
having appeared from the south, southeast.

Light gray in color, or it was cloud-color.

"It was much lower than the other clouds."

And this datum stands out:

That, whatever it may have been, it traveled against the wind.

"It came up obliquely against the wind, and finally settled down right
in the wind's eye."

For half an hour this form was visible. When it did finally disappear
that was not because it disintegrated like a cloud, but because it was
lost to sight in the evening darkness.

Capt. Banner draws the following diagram:



Text-books tell us that the Dhurmsalla meteorites were picked up "soon,"
or "within half an hour." Given a little time the conventionalists may
argue that these stones were hot when they fell, but that their great
interior coldness had overcome the molten state of their surfaces.

According to the Deputy Commissioner of Dhurmsalla, these stones had
been picked up "immediately" by passing coolies.

These stones were so cold that they benumbed the fingers. But they had
fallen with a great light. It is described as "a flame of fire about
two feet in depth and nine feet in length." Acceptably this light was
not the light of molten matter.

In this chapter we are very intermediatistic--and unsatisfactory. To the
intermediatist there is but one answer to all questions:

Sometimes and sometimes not.

Another form of this intermediatist "solution" of all problems is:

Yes and no.

Everything that is, also isn't.

A positivist attempts to formulate: so does the intermediatist, but with
less rigorousness: he accepts but also denies: he may seem to accept in
one respect and deny in some other respect, but no real line can be
drawn between any two aspects of anything. The intermediatist accepts
that which seems to correlate with something that he has accepted as a
dominant. The positivist correlates with a belief.

In the Dhurmsalla meteorites we have support for our expression that
things entering this earth's atmosphere sometimes shine with a light
that is not the light of incandescence--or so we account, or offer an
expression upon, "thunderstones," or carved stones that have fallen
luminously to this earth, in streaks that have looked like strokes of
lightning--but we accept, also, that some things that have entered this
earth's atmosphere, disintegrate with the intensity of flame and molten
matter--but some things, we accept, enter this earth's atmosphere and
collapse non-luminously, quite like deep-sea fishes brought to the
surface of the ocean. Whatever agreement we have is an indication that
somewhere aloft there is a medium denser than this earth's atmosphere. I
suppose our stronghold is in that such is not popular belief--

Or the rhythm of all phenomena:

Air dense at sea level upon this earth--less and less dense as one
ascends--then denser and denser. A good many bothersome questions

Our attitude:

Here are the data:

Luminous rains sometimes fall (_Nature_, March 9, 1882; _Nature_,
25-437). This is light that is not the light of incandescence, but no
one can say that these occasional, or rare, rains come from this
earth's externality. We simply note cold light of falling bodies. For
luminous rain, snow, and dust, see Hartwig, _Aerial World_, p. 319. As
to luminous clouds, we have more nearly definite observations and
opinions: they mark transition between the Old Dominant and the New
Dominant. We have already noted the transition in Prof. Schwedoffs
theory of external origin of some hailstones--and the implications that,
to a former generation, seemed so preposterous--"droll" was the
word--that there are in inter-planetary regions volumes of
water--whether they have fishes and frogs in them or not. Now our
acceptance is that clouds sometimes come from external regions, having
had origin from super-geographical lakes and oceans that we shall not
attempt to chart, just at present--only suggesting to enterprising
aviators--and we note that we put it all up to them, and show no
inclination to go Columbusing on our own account--that they take bathing
suits, or, rather, deep-sea diving-suits along. So then that some clouds
come from inter-planetary oceans--of the Super-Sargasso Sea--if we still
accept the Super-Sargasso Sea--and shine, upon entering this earth's
atmosphere. In _Himmel und Erde_, February, 1889--a phenomenon of
transition of thirty years ago--Herr O. Jesse, in his observations upon
luminous night-clouds, notes the great height of them, and drolly or
sensibly suggests that some of them may have come from regions external
to this earth. I suppose he means only from other planets. But it's a
very droll and sensible idea either way.

In general I am accounting for a great deal of this earth's isolation:
that it is relatively isolated by circumstances that are similar to the
circumstances that make for relative isolation of the bottom of the
ocean--except that there is a clumsiness of analogy now. To call
ourselves deep-sea fishes has been convenient, but, in a
quasi-existence, there is no convenience that will not sooner or later
turn awkward--so, if there be denser regions aloft, these regions should
now be regarded as analogues of far-submerged oceanic regions, and
things coming to this earth would be like things rising to an attenuated
medium--and exploding--sometimes incandescently, sometimes with cold
light--sometimes non-luminously, like deep-sea fishes brought to the
surface--altogether conditions of inhospitality. I have a suspicion
that, in their own depths, deep-sea fishes are not luminous. If they
are, Darwinism is mere jesuitism, in attempting to correlate them. Such
advertising would so attract attention that all advantages would be more
than offset. Darwinism is largely a doctrine of concealment: here we
have brazen proclamation--if accepted. Fishes in the Mammoth Cave need
no light to see by. We might have an expression that deep-sea fishes
turn luminous upon entering a less dense medium--but models in the
American Museum of Natural History: specialized organs of luminosity
upon these models. Of course we do remember that awfully convincing
"dodo," and some of our sophistications we trace to him--at any rate
disruption is regarded as a phenomenon of coming from a dense to a less
dense medium.

An account by M. Acharius, in the _Transactions of the Swedish Academy
of Sciences_, 1808-215, translated for the _North American Review_,

That M. Acharius, having heard of "an extraordinary and probably
hitherto unseen phenomenon," reported from near the town of Skeninge,
Sweden, investigated:

That, upon the 16th of May, 1808, at about 4 P.M., the sun suddenly
turned dull brick-red. At the same time there appeared, upon the western
horizon, a great number of round bodies, dark brown, and seemingly the
size of a hat crown. They passed overhead and disappeared in the eastern
horizon. Tremendous procession. It lasted two hours. Occasionally one
fell to the ground. When the place of a fall was examined, there was
found a film, which soon dried and vanished. Often, when approaching the
sun, these bodies seemed to link together, or were then seen to be
linked together, in groups not exceeding eight, and, under the sun, they
were seen to have tails three or four fathoms long. Away from the sun
the tails were invisible. Whatever their substance may have been, it is
described as gelatinous--"soapy and jellied."

I place this datum here for several reasons. It would have been a good
climax to our expression upon hordes of small bodies that, in our
acceptance, were not seeds, nor birds, nor ice-crystals: but the
tendency would have been to jump to the homogeneous conclusion that all
our data in that expression related to this one kind of phenomena,
whereas we conceive of infinite heterogeneity of the external: of
crusaders and rabbles and emigrants and tourists and dragons and things
like gelatinous hat crowns. Or that all things, here, upon this earth,
that flock together, are not necessarily sheep, Presbyterians,
gangsters, or porpoises. The datum is important to us, here, as
indication of disruption in this earth's atmosphere--dangers in entering
this earth's atmosphere.

I think, myself, that thousands of objects have been seen to fall from
aloft, and have exploded luminously, and have been called "ball

"As to what ball lightning is, we have not yet begun to make intelligent
guesses." (_Monthly Weather Review_, 34-17.)

In general, it seems to me that when we encounter the opposition "ball
lightning" we should pay little attention, but confine ourselves to
guesses that are at least intelligent, that stand phantom-like in our
way. We note here that in some of our acceptances upon intelligence we
should more clearly have pointed out that they were upon the intelligent
as opposed to the instinctive. In the _Monthly Weather Review_, 33-409,
there is an account of "ball lightning" that struck a tree. It made a
dent such as a falling object would make. Some other time I shall
collect instances of "ball lightning," to express that they are
instances of objects that have fallen from the sky, luminously,
exploding terrifically. So bewildered is the old orthodoxy by these
phenomena that many scientists have either denied "ball lightning" or
have considered it very doubtful. I refer to Dr. Sestier's list of one
hundred and fifty instances, which he considered authentic.

In accord with our disaccord is an instance related in the _Monthly
Weather Review_, March, 1887--something that fell luminously from the
sky, accompanied by something that was not so affected, or that was

That, according to Capt. C.D. Sweet, of the Dutch bark, _J.P.A._, upon
March 19, 1887, N. 37° 39', W. 57° 00', he encountered a severe storm.
He saw two objects in the air above the ship. One was luminous, and
might be explained in several ways, but the other was dark. One or both
fell into the sea, with a roar and the casting up of billows. It is our
acceptance that these things had entered this earth's atmosphere,
having first crashed through a field of ice--"immediately afterward
lumps of ice fell."

One of the most astonishing of the phenomena of "ball lightning" is a
phenomenon of many meteorites: violence of explosion out of all
proportion to size and velocity. We accept that the icy meteorites of
Dhurmsalla could have fallen with no great velocity, but the sound from
them was tremendous. The soft substance that fell at the Cape of Good
Hope was carbonaceous, but was unburned, or had fallen with velocity
insufficient to ignite it. The tremendous report that it made was heard
over an area more than seventy miles in diameter.

That some hailstones have been formed in a dense medium, and violently
disintegrate in this earth's relatively thin atmosphere:

_Nature_, 88-350:

Large hailstones noted at the University of Missouri, Nov. 11, 1911:
they exploded with sounds like pistol shots. The writer says that he had
noticed a similar phenomenon, eighteen years before, at Lexington,
Kentucky. Hailstones that seemed to have been formed in a denser medium:
when melted under water they gave out bubbles larger than their central
air spaces. (_Monthly Weather Review_, 33-445.)

Our acceptance is that many objects have fallen from the sky, but that
many of them have disintegrated violently. This acceptance will
co-ordinate with data still to come, but, also, we make it easy for
ourselves in our expressions upon super-constructions, if we're asked
why, from thinkable wrecks of them, girders, plates, or parts
recognizably of manufactured metal have not fallen from the sky.
However, as to composition, we have not this refuge, so it is our
expression that there have been reported instances of the fall of
manufactured metal from the sky.

The meteorite of Rutherford, North Carolina, is of artificial material:
mass of pig iron. It is said to be fraudulent. (_Amer. Jour. Sci._,

The object that was said to have fallen at Marblehead, Mass., in 1858,
is described in the _Amer. Jour. Sci._, 2-34-135, as "a furnace product,
formed in smelting copper ores, or iron ores containing copper." It is
said to be fraudulent.

According to Ehrenberg, the substance reported by Capt. Callam to have
fallen upon his vessel, near Java, "offered complete resemblance to the
residue resulting from combustion of a steel wire in a flask of oxygen."
(Zurcher, _Meteors_, p. 239.) _Nature_, Nov. 21, 1878, publishes a
notice that, according to the _Yuma Sentinel_, a meteorite that
"resembles steel" had been found in the Mohave Desert. In _Nature_, Feb.
15, 1894, we read that one of the meteorites brought to the United
States by Peary, from Greenland, is of tempered steel. The opinion is
that meteoric iron had fallen in water or snow, quickly cooling and
hardening. This does not apply to composition. Nov. 5, 1898, _Nature_
publishes a notice of a paper by Prof. Berwerth, of Vienna, upon "the
close connection between meteoric iron and steel-works' steel."

At the meeting of Nov. 24, 1906, of the Essex Field Club, was exhibited
a piece of metal said to have fallen from the sky, Oct. 9, 1906, at
Braintree. According to the _Essex Naturalist_, Dr. Fletcher, of the
British Museum, had declared this metal to be smelted iron--"so that the
mystery of its reported 'fall' remained unexplained."


We shall have an outcry of silences. If a single instance of anything be
disregarded by a System--our own attitude is that a single instance is a
powerless thing. Of course our own method of agreement of many instances
is not a real method. In Continuity, all things must have resemblances
with all other things. Anything has any quasi-identity you please. Some
time ago conscription was assimilated with either autocracy or democracy
with equal facility. Note the need for a dominant to correlate to.
Scarcely anybody said simply that we must have conscription: but that we
must have conscription, which correlates with democracy, which was taken
as a base, or something basically desirable. Of course between autocracy
and democracy nothing but false demarcation can be drawn. So I can
conceive of no subject upon which there should be such poverty as a
single instance, if anything one pleases can be whipped into line.
However, we shall try to be more nearly real than the Darwinites who
advance concealing coloration as Darwinism, and then drag in proclaiming
luminosity, too, as Darwinism. I think the Darwinites had better come in
with us as to the deep-sea fishes--and be sorry later, I suppose. It
will be amazing or negligible to read all the instances now to come of
things that have been seen in the sky, and to think that all have been
disregarded. My own opinion is that it is not possible, or very easy, to
disregard them, now that they have been brought together--but that, if
prior to about this time we had attempted such an assemblage, the Old
Dominant would have withered our typewriter--as it is the letter "e" has
gone back on us, and the "s" is temperamental.

"Most extraordinary and singular phenomenon," North Wales, Aug. 26,
1894; a disk from which projected an orange-colored body that looked
like "an elongated flatfish," reported by Admiral Ommanney (_Nature_,
50-524); disk from which projected a hook-like form, India, about 1838;
diagram of it given; disk about size of the moon, but brighter than the
moon; visible about twenty minutes; by G. Pettit, in Prof.
Baden-Powell's Catalogue (_Rept. Brit. Assoc._, 1849); very brilliant
hook-like form, seen in the sky at Poland, Trumbull Co., Ohio, during
the stream of meteors, of 1833; visible more than an hour: large
luminous body, almost stationary "for a time"; shaped like a square
table; Niagara Falls, Nov. 13, 1833 (_Amer. Jour. Sci._, 1-25-391);
something described as a bright white cloud, at night, Nov. 3, 1886, at
Hamar, Norway; from it were emitted brilliant rays of light; drifted
across the sky; "retained throughout its original form" (_Nature_, Dec.
16, 1886-158); thing with an oval nucleus, and streamers with dark bands
and lines very suggestive of structure; New Zealand, May 4, 1888
(_Nature_, 42-402); luminous object, size of full moon, visible an hour
and a half, Chili, Nov. 5, 1883 (_Comptes Rendus_, 103-682); bright
object near sun, Dec. 21, 1882 (_Knowledge_, 3-13); light that looked
like a great flame, far out at sea, off Ryook Phyoo, Dec. 2, 1845
(_London Roy. Soc. Proc._, 5-627); something like a gigantic trumpet,
suspended, vertical, oscillating gently, visible five or six minutes,
length estimated at 425 feet, at Oaxaca, Mexico, July 6, 1874 (_Sci.
Am. Sup._, 6-2365); two luminous bodies, seemingly united, visible five
or six minutes, June 3, 1898 (_La Nature_, 1898-1-127); thing with a
tail, crossing moon, transit half a minute, Sept. 26, 1870 (London
_Times_, Sept. 30, 1870); object four or five times size of moon, moving
slowly across sky, Nov. 1, 1885, near Adrianople (_L'Astronomie_,
1886-309); large body, colored red, moving slowly, visible 15 minutes,
reported by Coggia, Marseilles, Aug. 1, 1871 (_Chem. News_, 24-193);
details of this observation, and similar observation by Guillemin, and
other instances by de Fonville (_Comptes Rendus_, 73-297, 755); thing
that was large and that was stationary twice in seven minutes, Oxford,
Nov. 19, 1847; listed by Lowe (_Rec. Sci._, 1-136); grayish object that
looked to be about three and a half feet long, rapidly approaching the
earth at Saarbruck, April 1, 1826; sound like thunder; object expanding
like a sheet (_Am. Jour. Sci._, 1-26-133; _Quar. Jour. Roy. Inst._,
24-488); report by an astronomer, N.S. Drayton, upon an object duration
of which seemed to him extraordinary; duration three-quarters of a
minute, Jersey City, July 6, 1882 (_Sci. Amer._, 47-53); object like a
comet, but with proper motion of 10 degrees an hour; visible one hour;
reported by Purine and Glancy from the Cordoba Observatory, Argentina,
March 14, 1916 (_Sci. Amer._, 115-493); something like a signal light,
reported by Glaisher, Oct. 4, 1844; bright as Jupiter, "sending out
quick flickering waves of light" (_Year Book of Facts_, 1845-278).

I think that with the object known as Eddie's "comet" passes away the
last of our susceptibility to the common fallacy of personifying. It is
one of the most deep-rooted of positivist illusions--that people are
persons. We have been guilty too often of spleens and spites and
ridicules against astronomers, as if they were persons, or final
unities, individuals, completenesses, or selves--instead of
indeterminate parts. But, so long as we remain in quasi-existence, we
can cast out illusion only with some other illusion, though the other
illusion may approximate higher to reality. So we personify no more--but
we super-personify. We now take into full acceptance our expression that
Development is an Autocracy of Successive Dominants--which are not
final--but which approximate higher to individuality or self-ness, than
do the human tropisms that irresponsibly correlate to them.

Eddie reported a celestial object, from the Observatory at Grahamstown,
South Africa. It was in 1890. The New Dominant was only heir presumptive
then, or heir apparent but not obvious. The thing that Eddie reported
might as well have been reported by a night watchman, who had looked up
through an unplaced sewer pipe.

It did not correlate.

The thing was not admitted to _Monthly Notices_. I think myself that if
the Editor had attempted to let it in--earthquake--or a mysterious fire
in his publishing house.

The Dominants are jealous gods.

In _Nature_, presumably a vassal of the new god, though of course also
plausibly rendering homage to the old, is reported a comet-like body, of
Oct. 27, 1890, observed at Grahamstown, by Eddie. It may have looked
comet-like, but it moved 100 degrees while visible, or one hundred
degrees in three-quarters of an hour. See _Nature_, 43-89, 90.

In _Nature_, 44-519, Prof. Copeland describes a similar appearance that
he had seen, Sept. 10, 1891. Dreyer says (_Nature_, 44-541) that he had
seen this object at the Armagh Observatory. He likens it to the object
that was reported by Eddie. It was seen by Dr. Alexander Graham Bell,
Sept. 11, 1891, in Nova Scotia.

But the Old Dominant was a jealous god.

So there were different observations upon something that was seen in
November, 1883. These observations were Philistines in 1883. In the
_Amer. Met. Jour._, 1-110, a correspondent reports having seen an object
like a comet, with two tails, one up and one down, Nov. 10 or 12, 1883.
Very likely this phenomenon should be placed in our expression upon
torpedo-shaped bodies that have been seen in the sky--our data upon
dirigibles, or super-Zeppelins--but our attempted classifications are
far from rigorous--or are mere gropes. In the _Scientific American_,
50-40, a correspondent writes from Humacao, Porto Rico, that, Nov. 21,
1883, he and several other--persons--or persons, as it were--had seen a
majestic appearance, like a comet. Visible three successive nights:
disappeared then. The Editor says that he can offer no explanation. If
accepted, this thing must have been close to the earth. If it had been a
comet, it would have been seen widely, and the news would have been
telegraphed over the world, says the Editor. Upon page 97 of this volume
of the _Scientific American_, a correspondent writes that, at Sulphur
Springs, Ohio, he had seen "a wonder in the sky," at about the same
date. It was torpedo-shaped, or something with a nucleus, at each end of
which was a tail. Again the Editor says that he can offer no
explanation: that the object was not a comet. He associates it with the
atmospheric effects general in 1883. But it will be our expression that,
in England and Holland, a similar object was seen in November, 1882.

In the _Scientific American_, 40-294, is published a letter from Henry
Harrison, of Jersey City, copied from the _New York Tribune_: that upon
the evening of April 13, 1879, Mr. Harrison was searching for Brorsen's
comet, when he saw an object that was moving so rapidly that it could
not have been a comet. He called a friend to look, and his observation
was confirmed. At two o'clock in the morning this object was still
visible. In the _Scientific American Supplement_, 7-2885, Mr. Harrison
disclaims sensationalism, which he seems to think unworthy, and gives
technical details: he says that the object was seen by Mr. J. Spencer
Devoe, of Manhattanville.


"A formation having the shape of a dirigible." It was reported from
Huntington, West Virginia (_Sci. Amer._, 115-241). Luminous object that
was seen July 19, 1916, at about 11 P.M. Observed through "rather
powerful field glasses," it looked to be about two degrees long and half
a degree wide. It gradually dimmed, disappeared, reappeared, and then
faded out of sight. Another person--as we say: it would be too
inconvenient to hold to our intermediatist recognitions--another person
who observed this phenomenon suggested to the writer of the account
that the object was a dirigible, but the writer says that faint stars
could be seen behind it. This would seem really to oppose our notion of
a dirigible visitor to this earth--except for the inconclusiveness of
all things in a mode of seeming that is not final--or we suggest that
behind some parts of the object, thing, construction, faint stars were
seen. We find a slight discussion here. Prof. H.M. Russell thinks that
the phenomenon was a detached cloud of aurora borealis. Upon page 369 of
this volume of the _Scientific American_, another correlator suggests
that it was a light from a blast furnace--disregarding that, if there be
blast furnaces in or near Huntington, their reflections would be
commonplaces there.

We now have several observations upon cylindrical-shaped bodies that
have appeared in this earth's atmosphere: cylindrical, but pointed at
both ends, or torpedo-shaped. Some of the accounts are not very
detailed, but out of the bits of description my own acceptance is that
super-geographical routes are traversed by torpedo-shaped
super-constructions that have occasionally visited, or that have
occasionally been driven into this earth's atmosphere. From data, the
acceptance is that upon entering this earth's atmosphere, these vessels
have been so racked that had they not sailed away, disintegration would
have occurred: that, before leaving this earth, they have, whether in
attempted communication or not, or in mere wantonness or not, dropped
objects, which did almost immediately violently disintegrate or explode.
Upon general principles we think that explosives have not been purposely
dropped, but that parts have been racked off, and have fallen, exploding
like the things called "ball lightning." Many have been objects of stone
or metal with inscriptions upon them, for all we know, at present. In
all instances, estimates of dimensions are valueless, but ratios of
dimensions are more acceptable. A thing said to have been six feet long
may have been six hundred feet long; but shape is not so subject to the
illusions of distance.

_Nature_, 40-415:

That, Aug. 5, 1889, during a violent storm, an object that looked to be
about 15 inches long and 5 inches wide, fell, rather slowly, at East
Twickenham, England. It exploded. No substance from it was found.

_L'Année Scientifique_, 1864-54:

That, Oct. 10, 1864, M. Leverrier had sent to the Academy three letters
from witnesses of a long luminous body, tapering at both ends, that had
been seen in the sky.

In _Thunder and Lightning_, p. 87, Flammarion says that on Aug. 20,
1880, during a rather violent storm, M.A. Trécul, of the French Academy,
saw a very brilliant yellowish-white body, apparently 35 to 40
centimeters long, and about 25 centimeters wide. Torpedo-shaped. Or a
cylindrical body, "with slightly conical ends." It dropped something,
and disappeared in the clouds. Whatever it may have been that was
dropped, it fell vertically, like a heavy object, and left a luminous
train. The scene of this occurrence may have been far from the observer.
No sound was heard. For M. Trécul's account, see _Comptes Rendus_,

_Monthly Weather Review_, 1907-310:

That, July 2, 1907, in the town of Burlington, Vermont, a terrific
explosion had been heard throughout the city. A ball of light, or a
luminous object, had been seen to fall from the sky--or from a
torpedo-shaped thing, or construction, in the sky. No one had seen this
thing that had exploded fall from a larger body that was in the sky--but
if we accept that at the same time there was a larger body in the sky--

My own acceptance is that a dirigible in the sky, or a construction that
showed every sign of disrupting, had barely time to drop--whatever it
did drop--and to speed away to safety above.

The following story is told, in the _Review_, by Bishop John S. Michaud:

"I was standing on the corner of Church and College Streets, just in
front of the Howard Bank, and facing east, engaged in conversation with
Ex-Governor Woodbury and Mr. A.A. Buell, when, without the slightest
indication, or warning, we were startled by what sounded like a most
unusual and terrific explosion, evidently very nearby. Raising my eyes,
and looking eastward along College Street, I observed a torpedo-shaped
body, some 300 feet away, stationary in appearance, and suspended in the
air, about 50 feet above the tops of the buildings. In size it was about
6 feet long by 8 inches in diameter, the shell, or covering, having a
dark appearance, with here and there tongues of fire issuing from spots
on the surface, resembling red-hot, unburnished copper. Although
stationary when first noticed, this object soon began to move, rather
slowly, and disappeared over Dolan Brothers' store, southward. As it
moved, the covering seemed rupturing in places, and through these the
intensely red flames issued."

Bishop Michaud attempts to correlate it with meteorological

Because of the nearby view this is perhaps the most remarkable of the
new correlates, but the correlate now coming is extraordinary because of
the great number of recorded observations upon it. My own acceptance is
that, upon Nov. 17, 1882, a vast dirigible crossed England, but by the
definiteness-indefiniteness of all things quasi-real, some observations
upon it can be correlated with anything one pleases.

E.W. Maunder, invited by the Editors of the _Observatory_ to write some
reminiscences for the 500th number of their magazine, gives one that he
says stands out (_Observatory_, 39-214). It is upon something that he
terms "a strange celestial visitor." Maunder was at the Royal
Observatory, Greenwich, Nov. 17, 1882, at night. There was an aurora,
without features of special interest. In the midst of the aurora, a
great circular disk of greenish light appeared and moved smoothly across
the sky. But the circularity was evidently the effect of foreshortening.
The thing passed above the moon, and was, by other observers, described
as "cigar-shaped," "like a torpedo," "a spindle," "a shuttle." The idea
of foreshortening is not mine: Maunder says this. He says: "Had the
incident occurred a third of a century later, beyond doubt everyone
would have selected the same simile--it would have been 'just like a
Zeppelin.'" The duration was about two minutes. Color said to have been
the same as that of the auroral glow in the north. Nevertheless, Maunder
says that this thing had no relation to auroral phenomena. "It appeared
to be a definite body." Motion too fast for a cloud, but "nothing could
be more unlike the rush of a meteor." In the _Philosophical Magazine_,
5-15-318, J. Rand Capron, in a lengthy paper, alludes throughout to this
phenomenon as an "auroral beam," but he lists many observations upon
its "torpedo-shape," and one observation upon a "dark nucleus" in
it--host of most confusing observations--estimates of height between 40
and 200 miles--observations in Holland and Belgium. We are told that
according to Capron's spectroscopic observations the phenomenon was
nothing but a beam of auroral light. In the _Observatory_, 6-192, is
Maunder's contemporaneous account. He gives apparent approximate length
and breadth at twenty-seven degrees and three degrees and a half. He
gives other observations seeming to indicate structure--"remarkable dark
marking down the center."

In _Nature_, 27-84, Capron says that because of the moonlight he had
been able to do little with the spectroscope.

Color white, but aurora rosy (_Nature_, 27-87).

Bright stars seen through it, but not at the zenith, where it looked
opaque. This is the only assertion of transparency (_Nature_, 27-87).
Too slow for a meteor, but too fast for a cloud (_Nature_, 27-86).
"Surface had a mottled appearance" (_Nature_, 27-87). "Very definite in
form, like a torpedo" (_Nature_, 27-100). "Probably a meteoric object"
(Dr. Groneman, _Nature_, 27-296). Technical demonstration by Dr.
Groneman, that it was a cloud of meteoric matter (_Nature_, 28-105). See
_Nature_, 27-315, 338, 365, 388, 412, 434.

"Very little doubt it was an electric phenomenon" (Proctor, _Knowledge_,

In the London _Times_, Nov. 20, 1882, the Editor says that he had
received a great number of letters upon this phenomenon. He publishes
two. One correspondent describes it as "well-defined and shaped like a
fish... extraordinary and alarming." The other correspondent writes of
it as "a most magnificent luminous mass, shaped somewhat like a


_Notes and Queries_, 5-3-306:

About 8 lights that were seen in Wales, over an area of about 8 miles,
all keeping their own ground, whether moving together perpendicularly,
horizontally, or over a zigzag course. They looked like electric
lights--disappearing, reappearing dimly, then shining as bright as ever.
"We have seen them three or four at a time afterward, on four or five

London _Times_, Oct. 5, 1877:

"From time to time the west coast of Wales seems to have been the scene
of mysterious lights.... And now we have a statement from Towyn that
within the last few weeks lights of various colors have been seen moving
over the estuary of the Dysynni River, and out to sea. They are
generally in a northerly direction, but sometimes they hug the shore,
and move at high velocity for miles toward Aberdovey, and suddenly

_L'Année Scientifique_, 1877-45:

Lights that appeared in the sky, above Vence, France, March 23, 1877;
described as balls of fire of dazzling brightness; appeared from a cloud
about a degree in diameter; moved relatively slowly. They were visible
more than an hour, moving northward. It is said that eight or ten years
before similar lights or objects had been seen in the sky, at Vence.

London _Times_, Sept. 19, 1848:

That, at Inverness, Scotland, two large, bright lights that looked like
stars had been seen in the sky: sometimes stationary, but occasionally
moving at high velocity.

_L'Année Scientifique_, 1888-66:

Observed near St. Petersburg, July 30, 1880, in the evening: a large
spherical light and two smaller ones, moving along a ravine: visible
three minutes; disappearing without noise.

_Nature_, 35-173:

That, at Yloilo, Sept. 30, 1886, was seen a luminous object the size of
the full moon. It "floated" slowly "northward," followed by smaller ones
close to it.

"The False Lights of Durham."

Every now and then in the English newspapers, in the middle of the
nineteenth century, there is something about lights that were seen
against the sky, but as if not far above land, oftenest upon the coast
of Durham. They were mistaken for beacons by sailors. Wreck after wreck
occurred. The fishermen were accused of displaying false lights and
profiting by wreckage. The fishermen answered that mostly only old
vessels, worthless except for insurance, were so wrecked.

In 1866 (London _Times_, Jan. 9, 1866) popular excitement became
intense. There was an investigation. Before a commission, headed by
Admiral Collinson, testimony was taken. One witness described the light
that had deceived him as "considerably elevated above ground." No
conclusion was reached: the lights were called "the mysterious lights."
But whatever the "false lights of Durham" may have been, they were
unaffected by the investigation. In 1867, the Tyne Pilotage Board took
the matter up. Opinion of the Mayor of Tyne--"a mysterious affair."

In the _Report of the British Association_, 1877-152, there is a
description of a group of "meteors" that traveled with "remarkable
slowness." They were in sight about three minutes. "Remarkable," it
seems, is scarcely strong enough: one reads of "remarkable" as applied
to a duration of three seconds. These "meteors" had another peculiarity;
they left no train. They are described as "seemingly huddled together
like a flock of wild geese, and moving with the same velocity and grace
of regularity."

_Jour. Roy. Astro. Soc. of Canada_, November and December, 1913:

That, according to many observations collected by Prof. Chant, of
Toronto, there appeared, upon the night of Feb. 9, 1913, a spectacle
that was seen in Canada, the United States, and at sea, and in Bermuda.
A luminous body was seen. To it there was a long tail. The body grew
rapidly larger. "Observers differ as to whether the body was single, or
was composed of three or four parts, with a tail to each part." The
group, or complex structure, moved with "a peculiar, majestic
deliberation." "It disappeared in the distance, and another group
emerged from its place of origin. Onward they moved, at the same
deliberate pace, in twos or threes or fours." They disappeared. A third
group, or a third structure, followed.

Some observers compared the spectacle to a fleet of airships: others to
battleships attended by cruisers and destroyers.

According to one writer:

"There were probably 30 or 32 bodies, and the peculiar thing about them
was their moving in fours and threes and twos, abreast of one another;
and so perfect was the lining up that you would have thought it was an
aerial fleet maneuvering after rigid drilling."

_Nature_, May 25, 1893:

A letter from Capt. Charles J. Norcock, of H.M.S. _Caroline_:

That, upon the 24th of February, 1893, at 10 P.M., between Shanghai and
Japan, the officer of the watch had reported "some unusual lights."

They were between the ship and a mountain. The mountain was about 6,000
feet high. The lights seemed to be globular. They moved sometimes
massed, but sometimes strung out in an irregular line. They bore
"northward," until lost to sight. Duration two hours.

The next night the lights were seen again.

They were, for a time, eclipsed by a small island. They bore north at
about the same speed and in about the same direction as speed and
direction of the _Caroline_. But they were lights that cast a
reflection: there was a glare upon the horizon under them. A telescope
brought out but few details: that they were reddish, and seemed to emit
a faint smoke. This time the duration was seven and a half hours.

Then Capt. Norcock says that, in the same general locality, and at about
the same time, Capt. Castle, of H.M.S. _Leander_, had seen lights. He
had altered his course and had made toward them. The lights had fled
from him. At least, they had moved higher in the sky.

_Monthly Weather Review_, March, 1904-115:

Report from the observations of three members of his crew by Lieut.
Frank H. Schofield, U.S.N, of the U.S.S. _Supply_:

Feb. 24, 1904. Three luminous objects, of different sizes, the largest
having an apparent area of about six suns. When first sighted, they were
not very high. They were below clouds of an estimated height of about
one mile.

They fled, or they evaded, or they turned.

They went up into the clouds below which they had, at first, been

Their unison of movement.

But they were of different sizes, and of different susceptibilities to
all forces of this earth and of the air.

_Monthly Weather Review_, August, 1898-358:

Two letters from C.N. Crotsenburg, Crow Agency, Montana:

That, in the summer of 1896, when this writer was a railroad postal
clerk--or one who was experienced in train-phenomena--while his train
was going "northward," from Trenton, Mo., he and another clerk saw, in
the darkness of a heavy rain, a light that appeared to be round, and of
a dull-rose color, and seemed to be about a foot in diameter. It seemed
to float within a hundred feet of the earth, but soon rose high, or
"midway between horizon and zenith." The wind was quite strong from the
east, but the light held a course almost due north.

Its speed varied. Sometimes it seemed to outrun the train
"considerably." At other times it seemed to fall behind. The mail-clerks
watched until the town of Linville, Iowa, was reached. Behind the depot
of this town, the light disappeared, and was not seen again. All this
time there had been rain, but very little lightning, but Mr. Crotsenburg
offers the explanation that it was "ball lightning."

The Editor of the _Review_ disagrees. He thinks that the light may have
been a reflection from the rain, or fog, or from leaves of trees,
glistening with rain, or the train's light--not lights.

In the December number of the _Review_ is a letter from Edward M.
Boggs--that the light was a reflection, perhaps, from the glare--one
light, this time--from the locomotive's fire-box, upon wet telegraph
wires--an appearance that might not be striated by the wires, but
consolidated into one rotundity--that it had seemed to oscillate with
the undulations of the wires, and had seemed to change horizontal
distance with the varying angles of reflection, and had seemed to
advance or fall behind, when the train had rounded curves.

All of which is typical of the best of quasi-reasoning. It includes and
assimilates diverse data: but it excludes that which will destroy it:

That, acceptably, the telegraph wires were alongside the track beyond,
as well as leading to Linville.

Mr. Crotsenburg thinks of "ball lightning," which, though a sore
bewilderment to most speculation, is usually supposed to be a correlate
with the old system of thought: but his awareness of "something else" is
expressed in other parts of his letters, when he says that he has
something to tell that is "so strange that I should never have mentioned
it, even to my friends, had it not been corroborated... so unreal that I
hesitated to speak of it, fearing that it was some freak of the


Vast and black. The thing that was poised, like a crow over the moon.

Round and smooth. Cannon balls. Things that have fallen from the sky to
this earth.

Our slippery brains.

Things like cannon balls have fallen, in storms, upon this earth. Like
cannon balls are things that, in storms, have fallen to this earth.

Showers of blood.

Showers of blood.

Showers of blood.

Whatever it may have been, something like red-brick dust, or a red
substance in a dried state, fell at Piedmont, Italy, Oct. 27, 1814
(_Electric Magazine_, 68-437). A red powder fell, in Switzerland, winter
of 1867 (_Pop. Sci. Rev._, 10-112)--

That something, far from this earth, had bled--super-dragon that had
rammed a comet--

Or that there are oceans of blood somewhere in the sky--substance that
dries, and falls in a powder--wafts for ages in powdered form--that
there is a vast area that will some day be known to aviators as the
Desert of Blood. We attempt little of super-topography, at present, but
Ocean of Blood, or Desert of Blood--or both--Italy is nearest to it--or
to them.

I suspect that there were corpuscles in the substance that fell in
Switzerland, but all that could be published in 1867 was that in this
substance there was a high proportion of "variously shaped organic

At Giessen, Germany, in 1821, according to the _Report of the British
Association_, 5-2, fell a rain of a peach-red color. In this rain were
flakes of a hyacinthine tint. It is said that this substance was
organic: we are told that it was pyrrhine.

But distinctly enough, we are told of one red rain that it was of
corpuscular composition--red snow, rather. It fell, March 12, 1876, near
the Crystal Palace, London (_Year Book of Facts_, 1876-89; _Nature_,
13-414). As to the "red snow" of polar and mountainous regions, we have
no opposition, because that "snow" has never been seen to fall from the
sky: it is a growth of micro-organisms, or of a "protococcus," that
spreads over snow that is on the ground. This time nothing is said of
"sand from the Sahara." It is said of the red matter that fell in
London, March 12, 1876, that it was composed of corpuscles--

Of course:

That they looked like "vegetable cells."

A note:

That nine days before had fallen the red substance--flesh--whatever it
may have been--of Bath County, Kentucky.

I think that a super-egotist, vast, but not so vast as it had supposed,
had refused to move to one side for a comet.

We summarize our general super-geographical expressions:

Gelatinous regions, sulphurous regions, frigid and tropical regions: a
region that has been Source of Life relatively to this earth: regions
wherein there is density so great that things from them, entering this
earth's thin atmosphere, explode.

We have had a datum of explosive hailstones. We now have support to the
acceptance that they had been formed in a medium far denser than air of
this earth at sea-level. In the _Popular Science News_, 22-38, is an
account of ice that had been formed, under great pressure, in the
laboratory of the University of Virginia. When released and brought into
contact with ordinary air, this ice exploded.

And again the flesh-like substance that fell in Kentucky: its flake-like
formation. Here is a phenomenon that is familiar to us: it suggests
flattening, under pressure. But the extraordinary inference is--pressure
not equal on all sides. In the _Annual Record of Science_, 1873-350, it
is said that, in 1873, after a heavy thunderstorm in Louisiana, a
tremendous number of fish scales were found, for a distance of forty
miles, along the banks of the Mississippi River: bushels of them picked
up in single places: large scales that were said to be of the gar fish,
a fish that weighs from five to fifty pounds. It seems impossible to
accept this identification: one thinks of a substance that had been
pressed into flakes or scales. And round hailstones with wide thin
margins of ice irregularly around them--still, such hailstones seem to
me more like things that had been stationary: had been held in a field
of thin ice. In the _Illustrated London News_, 34-546, are drawings of
hailstones so margined, as if they had been held in a sheet of ice.

Some day we shall have an expression which will be, to our advanced
primitiveness, a great joy:

That devils have visited this earth: foreign devils: human-like beings,
with pointed beards: good singers; one shoe ill-fitting--but with
sulphurous exhalations, at any rate. I have been impressed with the
frequent occurrence of sulphurousness with things that come from the
sky. A fall of jagged pieces of ice, Orkney, July 24, 1818 (_Trans. Roy.
Soc. Edin._, 9-187). They had a strong sulphurous odor. And the coke--or
the substance that looked like coke--that fell at Mortrée, France, April
24, 1887: with it fell a sulphurous substance. The enormous round things
that rose from the ocean, near the _Victoria_. Whether we still accept
that they were super-constructions that had come from a denser
atmosphere and, in danger of disruption, had plunged into the ocean for
relief, then rising and continuing on their way to Jupiter or Uranus--it
was reported that they spread a "stench of sulphur." At any rate, this
datum of proximity is against the conventional explanation that these
things did not rise from the ocean, but rose far away above the horizon,
with illusion of nearness.

And the things that were seen in the sky July, 1898: I have another
note. In _Nature_, 58-224, a correspondent writes that, upon July 1,
1898, at Sedberg, he had seen in the sky--a red object--or, in his own
wording, something that looked like the red part of a rainbow, about 10
degrees long. But the sky was dark at the time. The sun had set. A heavy
rain was falling.

Throughout this book, the datum that we are most impressed with:

Successive falls.

Or that, if upon one small area, things fall from the sky, and then,
later, fall again upon the same small area, they are not products of a
whirlwind, which though sometimes axially stationary, discharges

So the frogs that fell at Wigan. I have looked that matter up again.
Later more frogs fell.

As to our data of gelatinous substance said to have fallen to this earth
with meteorites, it is our expression that meteorites, tearing through
the shaky, protoplasmic seas of Genesistrine--against which we warn
aviators, or they may find themselves suffocating in a reservoir of
life, or stuck like currants in a blanc mange--that meteorites detach
gelatinous, or protoplasmic, lumps that fall with them.

Now the element of positiveness in our composition yearns for the
appearance of completeness. Super-geographical lakes with fishes in
them. Meteorites that plunge through these lakes, on their way to this
earth. The positiveness in our make-up must have expression in at least
one record of a meteorite that has brought down a lot of fishes with

_Nature_, 3-512:

That, near the bank of a river, in Peru, Feb. 4, 1871, a meteorite
fell. "On the spot, it is reported, several dead fishes were found, of
different species." The attempt to correlate is--that the fishes "are
supposed to have been lifted out of the river and dashed against the

Whether this be imaginable or not depends upon each one's own hypnoses.

_Nature_, 4-169:

That the fishes had fallen among the fragments of the meteorite.

_Popular Science Review_, 4-126:

That one day, Mr. Le Gould, an Australian scientist, was traveling in
Queensland. He saw a tree that had been broken off close to the ground.
Where the tree had been broken was a great bruise. Near by was an object
that "resembled a ten-inch shot."

A good many pages back there was an instance of over-shadowing, I think.
The little carved stone that fell at Tarbes is my own choice as the most
impressive of our new correlates. It was coated with ice, remember.
Suppose we should sift and sift and discard half the data in this
book--suppose only that one datum should survive. To call attention to
the stone of Tarbes would, in my opinion, be doing well enough, for
whatever the spirit of this book is trying to do. Nevertheless, it seems
to me that a datum that preceded it was slightingly treated.

The disk of quartz, said to have fallen from the sky, after a meteoric

Said to have fallen at the plantation Bleijendal, Dutch Guiana: sent to
the Museum of Leyden by M. van Sypesteyn, adjutant to the Governor of
Dutch Guiana (_Notes and Queries_, 2-8-92).

And the fragments that fall from super-geographic ice fields: flat
pieces of ice with icicles on them. I think that we did not emphasize
enough that, if these structures were not icicles, but crystalline
protuberances, such crystalline formations indicate long suspension
quite as notably as would icicles. In the _Popular Science News_, 24-34,
it is said that in 1869, near Tiflis, fell large hailstones with long
protuberances. "The most remarkable point in connection with the
hailstones is the fact that, judging from our present knowledge, a very
long time must have been occupied in their formation." According to the
_Geological Magazine_, 7-27, this fall occurred May 27, 1869. The
writer in the _Geological Magazine_ says that of all theories that he
had ever heard of, not one could give him light as to this
occurrence--"these growing crystalline forms must have been suspended a
long time"--

Again and again this phenomenon:

Fourteen days later, at about the same place, more of these hailstones

Rivers of blood that vein albuminous seas, or an egg-like composition in
the incubation of which this earth is a local center of
development--that there are super-arteries of blood in Genesistrine:
that sunsets are consciousness of them: that they flush the skies with
northern lights sometimes: super-embryonic reservoirs from which
life-forms emanate--

Or that our whole solar system is a living thing: that showers of blood
upon this earth are its internal hemorrhages--

Or vast living things in the sky, as there are vast living things in the

Or some one especial thing: an especial time: an especial place. A thing
the size of the Brooklyn Bridge. It's alive in outer space--something
the size of Central Park kills it--

It drips.

We think of the ice fields above this earth: which do not, themselves,
fall to this earth, but from which water does fall--

_Popular Science News_, 35-104:

That, according to Prof. Luigi Palazzo, head of the Italian
Meteorological Bureau, upon May 15, 1890, at Messignadi, Calabria,
something the color of fresh blood fell from the sky.

This substance was examined in the public-health laboratories of Rome.

It was found to be blood.

"The most probable explanation of this terrifying phenomenon is that
migratory birds (quails or swallows) were caught and torn in a violent

So the substance was identified as birds' blood--

What matters it what the microscopists of Rome said--or had to say--and
what matters it that we point out that there is no assertion that there
was a violent wind at the time--and that such a substance would be
almost infinitely dispersed in a violent wind--that no bird was said to
have fallen from the sky--or said to have been seen in the sky--that not
a feather of a bird is said to have been seen--

This one datum:

The fall of blood from the sky--

But later, in the same place, blood again fell from the sky.


_Notes and Queries_, 7-8-508:

A correspondent who had been to Devonshire writes for information as to
a story that he had heard there: of an occurrence of about thirty-five
years before the date of writing:

Of snow upon the ground--of all South Devonshire waking up one morning
to find such tracks in the snow as had never before been heard
of--"clawed footmarks" of "an unclassifiable form"--alternating at huge
but regular intervals with what seemed to be the impression of the point
of a stick--but the scattering of the prints--amazing expanse of
territory covered--obstacles, such as hedges, walls, houses, seemingly

Intense excitement--that the track had been followed by huntsmen and
hounds, until they had come to a forest--from which the hounds had
retreated, baying and terrified, so that no one had dared to enter the

_Notes and Queries_, 7-9-18:

Whole occurrence well-remembered by a correspondent: a badger had left
marks in the snow: this was determined, and the excitement had "dropped
to a dead calm in a single day."

_Notes and Queries_, 7-9-70:

That for years a correspondent had had a tracing of the prints, which
his mother had taken from those in the snow in her garden, in Exmouth:
that they were hoof-like marks--but had been made by a biped.

_Notes and Queries_, 7-9-253:

Well remembered by another correspondent, who writes of the excitement
and consternation of "some classes." He says that a kangaroo had escaped
from a menagerie--"the footprints being so peculiar and far apart gave
rise to a scare that the devil was loose."

We have had a story, and now we shall tell it over from contemporaneous
sources. We have had the later accounts first very largely for an
impression of the correlating effect that time brings about, by
addition, disregard and distortion. For instance, the "dead calm in a
single day." If I had found that the excitement did die out rather soon,
I'd incline to accept that nothing extraordinary had occurred.

I found that the excitement had continued for weeks.

I recognize this as a well-adapted thing to say, to divert attention
from a discorrelate.

All phenomena are "explained" in the terms of the Dominant of their era.
This is why we give up trying really to explain, and content ourselves
with expressing. Devils that might print marks in snow are correlates to
the third Dominant back from this era. So it was an adjustment by
nineteenth-century correlates, or human tropisms, to say that the marks
in the snow were clawed. Hoof-like marks are not only horsey but
devilish. It had to be said in the nineteenth century that those prints
showed claw-marks. We shall see that this was stated by Prof. Owen, one
of the greatest biologists of his day--except that Darwin didn't think
so. But I shall give reference to two representations of them that can
be seen in the New York Public Library. In neither representation is
there the faintest suggestion of a claw-mark. There never has been a
Prof. Owen who has explained: he has correlated.

Another adaptation, in the later accounts, is that of leading this
discorrelate to the Old Dominant into the familiar scenery of a fairy
story, and discredit it by assimilation to the conventionally
fictitious--so the idea of the baying, terrified hounds, and forest like
enchanted forests, which no one dared to enter. Hunting parties were
organized, but the baying, terrified hounds do not appear in
contemporaneous accounts.

The story of the kangaroo looks like adaptation to needs for an animal
that could spring far, because marks were found in the snow on roofs of
houses. But so astonishing is the extent of snow that was marked that
after a while another kangaroo was added.

But the marks were in single lines.

My own acceptance is that not less than a thousand one-legged kangaroos,
each shod with a very small horseshoe, could have marked that snow of

London _Times_, Feb 16, 1855:

"Considerable sensation has been caused in the towns of Topsham,
Lymphstone, Exmouth, Teignmouth, and Dawlish, in Devonshire, in
consequence of the discovery of a vast number of foot tracks of a most
strange and mysterious description."

The story is of an incredible multiplicity of marks discovered in the
morning of Feb. 8, 1855, in the snow, by the inhabitants of many towns
and regions between towns. This great area must of course be disregarded
by Prof. Owen and the other correlators. The tracks were in all kinds of
unaccountable places: in gardens enclosed by high walls, and up on the
tops of houses, as well as in the open fields. There was in Lymphstone
scarcely one unmarked garden. We've had heroic disregards but I think
that here disregard was titanic. And, because they occurred in single
lines, the marks are said to have been "more like those of a biped than
of a quadruped"--as if a biped would place one foot precisely ahead of
another--unless it hopped--but then we have to think of a thousand, or
of thousands.

It is said that the marks were "generally 8 inches in advance of each

"The impression of the foot closely resembles that of a donkey's shoe,
and measured from an inch and a half, in some instances, to two and a
half inches across."

Or the impressions were cones in incomplete, or crescentic basins.

The diameters equaled diameters of very young colts' hoofs: too small to
be compared with marks of donkey's hoofs.

"On Sunday last the Rev. Mr. Musgrave alluded to the subject in his
sermon and suggested the possibility of the footprints being those of a
kangaroo, but this could scarcely have been the case, as they were found
on both sides of the Este. At present it remains a mystery, and many
superstitious people in the above-named towns are actually afraid to go
outside their doors after night."

The Este is a body of water two miles wide.

London _Times_, March 6, 1855:

"The interest in this matter has scarcely yet subsided, many inquiries
still being made into the origin of the footprints, which caused so much
consternation upon the morning of the 8th ult. In addition to the
circumstances mentioned in the _Times_ a little while ago, it may be
stated that at Dawlish a number of persons sallied out, armed with guns
and other weapons, for the purpose, if possible, of discovering and
destroying the animal which was supposed to have been so busy in
multiplying its footprints. As might have been expected, the party
returned as they went. Various speculations have been made as to the
cause of the footprints. Some have asserted that they are those of a
kangaroo, while others affirm that they are the impressions of claws of
large birds driven ashore by stress of weather. On more than one
occasion reports have been circulated that an animal from a menagerie
had been caught, but the matter at present is as much involved in
mystery as ever it was."

In the _Illustrated London News_, the occurrence is given a great deal
of space. In the issue of Feb. 24, 1855, a sketch is given of the

I call them cones in incomplete basins.

Except that they're a little longish, they look like prints of hoofs of
horses--or, rather, of colts.

But they're in a single line.

It is said that the marks from which the sketch was made were 8 inches
apart, and that this spacing was regular and invariable "in every
parish." Also other towns besides those named in the _Times_ are
mentioned. The writer, who had spent a winter in Canada, and was
familiar with tracks in snow, says that he had never seen "a more
clearly defined track." Also he brings out the point that was so
persistently disregarded by Prof. Owen and the other correlators--that
"no known animal walks in a line of single footsteps, not even man."
With these wider inclusions, this writer concludes with us that the
marks were not footprints. It may be that his following observation hits
upon the crux of the whole occurrence:

That whatever it may have been that had made the marks, it had removed,
rather than pressed, the snow.

According to his observations the snow looked "as if branded with a hot

_Illustrated London News_, March 3, 1855-214:

Prof. Owen, to whom a friend had sent drawings of the prints, writes
that there were claw-marks. He says that the "track" was made by "a"

Six other witnesses sent letters to this number of the _News_. One
mentioned, but not published, is a notion of a strayed swan. Always this
homogeneous-seeing--"a" badger--"a" swan--"a" track. I should have
listed the other towns as well as those mentioned in the _Times_.

A letter from Mr. Musgrave is published. He, too, sends a sketch of the
prints. It, too, shows a single line. There are four prints, of which
the third is a little out of line.

There is no sign of a claw-mark.

The prints look like prints of longish hoofs of a very young colt, but
they are not so definitely outlined as in the sketch of February 24th,
as if drawn after disturbance by wind, or after thawing had set in.
Measurements at places a mile and a half apart, gave the same
inter-spacing--"exactly eight inches and a half apart."

We now have a little study in the psychology and genesis of an attempted
correlation. Mr. Musgrave says: "I found a very apt opportunity to
mention the name 'kangaroo' in allusion to the report then current." He
says that he had no faith in the kangaroo-story himself, but was glad
"that a kangaroo was in the wind," because it opposed "a dangerous,
degrading, and false impression that it was the devil."

"Mine was a word in season and did good."

Whether it's Jesuitical or not, and no matter what it is or isn't, that
is our own acceptance: that, though we've often been carried away from
this attitude controversially, that is our acceptance as to every
correlate of the past that has been considered in this book--relatively
to the Dominant of its era.

Another correspondent writes that, though the prints in all cases
resembled hoof marks, there were indistinct traces of claws--that "an"
otter had made the marks. After that many other witnesses wrote to the
_News_. The correspondence was so great that, in the issue of March
10th, only a selection could be given. There's "a" jumping-rat solution
and "a" hopping-toad inspiration, and then someone came out strong with
an idea of "a" hare that had galloped with pairs of feet held close
together, so as to make impressions in a single line.

London _Times_, March 14, 1840:

"Among the high mountains of that elevated district where Glenorchy,
Glenlyon and Glenochay are contiguous, there have been met with several
times, during this and also the former winter, upon the snow, the tracks
of an animal seemingly unknown at present in Scotland. The print, in
every respect, is an exact resemblance to that of a foal of considerable
size, with this small difference, perhaps, that the sole seems a little
longer, or not so round; but as no one has had the good fortune as yet
to have obtained a glimpse of this creature, nothing more can be said of
its shape or dimensions; only it has been remarked, from the depth to
which the feet sank in the snow, that it must be a beast of considerable
size. It has been observed also that its walk is not like that of the
generality of quadrupeds, but that it is more like the bounding or
leaping of a horse when scared or pursued. It is not in one locality
that its tracks have been met with, but through a range of at least
twelve miles."

In the _Illustrated London News_, March 17, 1855, a correspondent from
Heidelberg writes, "upon the authority of a Polish Doctor of Medicine,"
that on the Piashowa-gora (Sand Hill) a small elevation on the border of
Galicia, but in Russian Poland, such marks are to be seen in the snow
every year, and sometimes in the sand of this hill, and "are attributed
by the inhabitants to supernatural influences."

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